August 1st, tomorrow, legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent would have been 79 years old.
Sadly, he left us in 2008. In a bizarre coincidence, we were actually at the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal on the Sunday of his death. A museum representative walked through the exhibition to give the news to museum patrons.
Last year, Saint Laurent was in the news again since not one but two films about his life were released; Yves Saint Laurent by director Jalil Lespert and Saint Laurent by Bertrand Bonello, the former being fully authorized by Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s life partner and the man running the business side of the brand since the beginning. The latter paints a rougher portrait of the designer and takes a few historical liberties but is by far the better film.
When we think of Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy, the first thing that comes to mind, without a doubt, is Le Smoking. The female version of the tuxedo, that revolutionized womenswear. It premiere in Saint Laurent’s August 1966 collection.
At that moment in time, it was still very controversial for women to appear in public wearing trousers. Most respectable restaurants and hotels didn’t even allow female guests to wear them inside their establishment.
We had seen women wear suits before, namely Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo in the 1930s, but those were all actual men’s clothes. The Saint Laurent Smoking was different, because it was cut for a woman. It paved the way for the power suit and the pant suits of today. It is considered by many fashion critics as the mose influential and iconic design of the 20th century.
Women who wore it at the time were considered irreverent, very daring and on the absolute cutting edge of fashion. Saint Laurent muses like Catherine Deneuve, Bianca Jagger and Lauren Bacall were early adopters of the style.
Le Smoking was so popular that it has been included in every Saint Laurent collection since, updated and remade to fit the times. Yves declared that Le Smoking is essential in every wardrobe because it is timeless, it’s about style and not fashion. Style never goes out of style.
Obviously, here at Télio we have everything you need if you would ever want to make your own Smoking tuxedo. Our Marzotto Wool (style 65523, colour 02) and our Modena Wool (style 35711, colour 02) would look amazing in tuxedo form.
Are you a fan of Le Smoking? Have you ever worn a tuxedo to an event? Let us know in the comments section!