His Met exhibit was pure theater, something to behold and there were even a few ensembles I could have worn to the office. But McQueen didn’t look at haute couture as being as transitory as it is or an end unto itself. He said, “I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern - wearing head-to-toe designer has become a bit passe. It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It's all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.” So maybe my Michael Kors sheath dress that I wear with sandals I found at a discount outlet, beaded necklace from a trip to India and earrings from Claire’s fits McQueen’s definition of modern. And my Galliano wool and satin jacket with my jeans and Pumas are mixed up enough as well. Most importantly, I feel appropriate, a bit edgy and myself in these outfits, which I’ve had for several seasons now, and never that I should have worn something else. (Know that feeling?)
Yves Saint Laurent broke fashion barriers too. He has been credited with making women feel more comfortable and elegant wearing pants to work or out for the evening as well as for play. We may have forgotten but pants were fairly taboo in the workplace up until the 60’s and 70’s. (Come to think of it women were pretty scarce there too at least in management positions.) Saint Laurent slimmed down menswear silhouettes to fit the feminine shape and introduced the “Le Smoking” tuxedo jacket in 1966. The stylish pantsuit followed and women wore them wherever they pleased. He designed for the fashion-conscious working woman with a modern spin and a touch of fantasy. "For a long time now," Saint Laurent said, "I have believed that fashion was not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves." His designs were based on this notion and were in sync with the newly found success women were experiencing in the corporate world around the same time.
Recap of links:
1) Inès de la Fressange’s “Parisian Chic” guide reference
2) Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of
3) Yves Saint Laurent documentary, “L’Amour Fou”
4) YSL "Le Smoking" jacket