‘The collection inspired by Russia.. it was wonderfully received at a time when the world condemned opulence. And it was opulent.’
Yves Saint Laurent (when asked to describe the most beautiful moment of his career).
Yves Saint Laurent 1976 Ballet Russes fashion illustrations
Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris
As we continue releasing our YSL collection, we are constantly reminded of the genius and originality that made Yves Saint Laurent so beloved. Over the last two weeks, we have presented some iconic pieces, but those from 1976 are perhaps some of our very favorites.
Yves Saint Laurent's Fall / Winter 1976 “Opéras - Ballets russes” collection, is one of his most unforgettable. YSL found inspiration in czar-era Russia and the costumes from the ballet / operas. The runway show was a dreamy spectacle of brilliant colors and luxurious textiles including fur, wool, ethereal chiffons, silk, luxe velvets, and glimmering metallics.
This 1976 Yves Saint Laurent haute couture navy blue wool coat is from the Ballet Russes collection. The cossack style coat is trimmed in the finest sheared mink and it closes with braided bands that loop over brown marbled buttons.
This stunning YSL coat is museum worthy and we know we will never see another one like it. The lining is the most sublime silk and when you wear it you can literally feel the couture quality. It's a piece that looks as if it was made yesterday with the same vibrancy as it had over 40 years ago. That's when you know that something was well made, when you can't even tell that it has been worn after all of these years!
Yes, it is very expensive -but It has to be. This coat was made in a time when quality was of the utmost importance and only the finest fabrics and the most detailed techniques were used. There will never be another Yves Saint Laurent and frankly, clothing will never again be made quite as perfectly.
The 1976/77 YSL Rive Gauche collection was directly inspired by the haute couture Ballet Russes collection. The pieces are very similar in style to those shown on the haute couture runway and they evoke the same feelings of elegance.
The Rive Gauche collection made owning a piece of the luxurious dream evoked by the original Russian collection a reality for many who couldn't access haute couture. It was by no means inexpensive, but compared to haute couture, it was a more realistic option for many YSL customers.
The advertisements from the 1976/77 collections featured dramatic head scarves, hats and other accessories to further accentuate the extravagant elements in the designs. Today, as the pieces are worn more casually and styled in more contemporary ways, they take on a completely modern look.
and ready to wear collections of 1976. Yves Saint Laurent's passion for the Russian world he imagined was a common theme throughout his career. He continually created pieces influenced by the original collection from 1976 but always found ways to change design elements to make the piece more contemporary.
This 1980's 2 piece burgundy velvet skirt and jacket ensemble
is a great example of Yves Saint Laurent's ability to take a familiar design he created in a previous season and add just the right modern elements. You can see the 1980's influence in the outfit.
Now, in the 21st century, Yves Saint Laurent clothing is more collectible than ever. We have a hard time keeping the pieces in our collection because they are so sought after by collectors and fashion lovers around the world. We are so delighted to be able to release the last of our 300 piece collection over the next week and hope you will enjoy experiencing the world of YSL with us.