Born in Algeria, haute couture designer Yves Saint Laurent moved to Paris at age 18 to realize his childhood passion of designing clothing. At the ripe age of 21 he was appointed position of head designer at the House of Dior. In 1962 he showed his own brand’s first collection with actress Catherine Deneuve as its mascot. As an art enthusiast and expert in color and material, YSL introduced art-inspired, unorthodox styles into couture fashion (e.g., 1965's Mondrian Collection and 1966's Pop Art Collection in which he translated paintings onto dress fabric). YSL became widely recognised for blending borders between art, fashion, and sexual representation. He pioneered a fusion of sexuality and androgyny; safari jackets and tuxedo suits unconventionally tailored for women (read: "Le Smoking”), juxtaposed with long, graceful evening dresses. The glamour of Yves Saint Laurent lies in the diversion from traditional forms and the empowerment it bestows on women. In S/S 2013, Hedi Slimane showed his first collection as the brand’s newly appointed Design Director. The brand’s name was changed from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent, and Slimane—staying true to form—continues to advocate androgynous nature under the Saint Laurent name.
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