YSL. Three letters that stand for the powerful fashion and creativity of late iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Laurent largely influenced the design of women’s evening wear and made smoking “tres chic.” One woman was invited to witness all of Laurent’s magic, legendary photographer Roxanne Lowit. New to the scene, Lowit first met Laurent on top of the Eiffel Tower with Andy Warhol, and who would have known that this single moment in Paris would be the start of a legacy. After a friendship for many decades, Lowit decided to create a book with iconic and “behind the scenes” photos of the late designer, or as she called him, Yves, and his models wearing his exquisite pieces.
Yves Saint Laurent captures moments in fashion history of the designer in his natural element, surrounded by beauty. The photos of the clothing are elegant and fascinating; they make you want to touch the page and feel the many fabrics such as velvet, tulle, feathers, and sequins. In this coffee table book, models Jerry Hall, Valerie Steele, Lucie De La Falaise, Grace Jones, Pat Cleveland, Paloma Picasso, Betty Catroux, and Catherine Deneuve all share insight about their relationship with Laurent and how no job was ever too small for him.
I attended the book launch and exhibition opening at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City a few months ago where attendees included Lowit’s good friend Fran Drescher, Jesse Frohman, Pat Cleveland, Alva Chin, Fern Mallis, and Mickey Boardman. The brilliant Lowitt knew how captivating Laurent was, and still very much is; you could even see the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about him. I had the opportunity to speak with Lowit about her favorite photo from her book.
“If it had to be one, it would be the photo of Saint Laurent with all his models,” said Lowit. She described her once-in-a-lifetime working experience during the era as “magic; it was absolute magic and unbelievable.”
To learn more about Roxanne Lowit, go to Roxannelowit.com.
Yves Saint Laurent $50