Since Yves Saint Laurent’s death in June 2008, every possible superlative has been used to describe him. ‘Fashion Icon’ (CNN), ‘Giant of couture’ (New York Times),  ‘Magician’ (Paris Match), ‘The greatest fashion designer of the 20th century’ (BBC). Lucie Goulet takes a look at the man behind the accolades.

At a press conference announcing his retirement in January 2002, Yves Saint Laurent summarised his philosophy of fashion thus: “I have believed for a long time now that fashion is not merely there to embellish women. I believe it is also a mean to reassure them, to give them confidence, to enable them to assert themselves.”

Saint Laurent revolutionised women’s wardrobes at a time when women were revolutionising their role in society.

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