The Spring-Summer African Collection

Other than his visits to Morocco, Yves Saint Laurent did not like traveling. His most beautiful journeys were imagined. For his Spring-Summer 1967 collection, he was inspired by Africa, creating a series of delicate gowns from a variety of materials, including wooden beads, raffia, straw, and golden thread. At a time when industrial production predominated, it was a way for the couturier to renew with artisanal techniques.

The most noticeable dress paid tribute to the Bambara sculptures produced by the community of the same name in Mali. Their statues depicting women are characterized by long bodies and pointy breasts.

Saint Laurent chose light-skinned models for the runway show. He was nonetheless one of the first couturiers to use models whose ebony skin perfectly displayed the colors of the clothing they wore. Fidelia modeled for him as early as 1962. Many black models wore the heart signaling Saint Laurent’s favorite model for each collection.