Evening dress, Yves Saint Laurent

Look #17

  • Yves Saint Laurent

  • Gift of Hélène Rochas
  • Autumn-Winter 1966–1967
  • Embossed taffeta with lurex by Abraham, gold tulle by Dognin embroidered by Rébé with gold thread and precious stones
  • GAL 1977.24.1
  • Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

Formerly belonging to Hélène Rochas (1927–2011), wife of the couturier and director of Rochas perfumes, this dress is remarkable for its purity of form and luxurious embroidery.

Saint Laurent's overall aim was an impression of simplicity and majesty. To lengthen the silhouette, he gave the dress an empire waist and a long, slightly flared skirt. The stiffness of the material by Abraham enabled the stylist to  interpret the power and simplicity of the couturier's line with a structural meticulousness perhaps reminiscent of Balenciaga.

Here that special Saint Laurent alchemy revives the concept of classicism 'à la française'.