Shortly after his first success, Yves had to join the French army, but only 20 days later he was institutionalized in a mental hospital for a nervous breakdown. He has since suffered several depressions, often caused by alcohol or drug abuse.
Although a shy person, Saint Laurent believes he is the last true couturier. He maintains the highest standards of classic cut and tailoring, and he receives a standing ovation after every collection is presented.
This are some of the places which game him awards: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC, USA), Hermitage (St Petersburg, Russia), Musee des Arts de la Mode (Louvre, Paris), Victoria and Albert Awards (London), Neiman-Marcus Award (LA, USA) and Council of Fashion Designers of America (NYC, USA).
When, on January 7th 2002, famed fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent announced that he was closing his couture house, many clients were rather disappointed. "Well," one long-standing client declared, "I'll have to go naked."
In January 1958, shortly after the death of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent (Dior's former assistant) unveiled his first collection for Maison Dior.
The number of stores is said to be around 200 throughout the world.
Yves Saint Laurent is a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter.
He is famous for "Le Smoking" tuxedo jacket, see-through blouses (1968), peasant blouses, bolero jackets, pantsuits, and smocks.
Yves posed nude in 1971 to advertise his fragance, but the ad was banned by various companies for being immoral and offensive.
Immediately after he won in 1954 the International Wool Secretariat contest for his asymmetrical cocktail dress, he started working for Dior.
His collection "Trapezium" gave him the nickname of "the little man of high couture."
Yves launched his first collection the 30 of January in 1958.
Yves defines elegancy in two words: simplicity and originality.
Yves Saint Laurent's first muse was Catherine Deneuve.
When Yves Saint Laurent traveled to the West, he found the inspiration for his new perfume "Opium", that resembles the elegancy and sensuality of Imperial China.
Like his mentor (Christian Dior), Yves Saint Laurent was painfully shy. Indeed, when Maison Yves Saint Laurent's first collection was shown, in January of 1962, the human tide which rushed to congratulate the designer was so daunting that he ran away and tried to hide in a cupboard.
Yves Saint Laurent was the first living designer that was honored in 1983 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Yves Saint Laurent collapsed outside his boutique the 6 of October in 2006.
Yves Saint Laurent has left designing but is still helping with his foundation.
Yves: I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes.
Yves: I want to thank all the women who have worn my clothes, the famous and the unknown, who have been so faithful to me and given me so much joy.
Yves: I love bows... And I feel some couture pots coming on.
Yves: Haute couture implies precision in lines. It consists of secrets whispered from generation to generation... If, in ready-to-wear, a garment is manufactured according to standard sizes, the haute couture garment adapts to any imperfection in order to eliminate it.
Yves: I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.
Yves: A designer who is not also a couturier, who hasn't learned the most refined mysteries of physically creating his models, is like a sculptor who gives his drawings to another man, an artisan, to accomplish.
Yves: We must never confuse elegance with snobbery.
Yves: Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.
Yves: It pains me physically to see a woman victimized, rendered pathetic, by fashion.
Yves: Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?
Yves: Fashions fade, style is eternal.
Yves: My dream is to save women from nature.
Yves: Black is my refuge, black is a big thick line in a white piece of paper.
Yves: I chose today to say goodbye to the proffesion i have loved so much.
Yves: Elegance and beauty have been banished.
Yves: I have nothing in common with this new world of fashion, which has been reduced to mere window dressing.
Yves: Dressing is a way of life.
Yves: I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes.
Yves: A good model can advance fashion by ten years.
Yves: I have 200 people in the ateliers and am the only couture house which is still successful. All the ladies come here because they can't find anything they like elsewhere.