Tributes to Aragon, Apollinaire, and Cocteau

In 1980, Yves Saint Laurent paid tribute to the poets he admired. References to Louis Aragon, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Jean Cocteau appeared in his designs. The “Shakespeare” bridal gown he designed for this collection was a lavish dress decorated with jewels.

I did a whole collection paying homage to Shakespeare. A blouse evoked Hamlet’s shirt and red silk gown, that of Lady Macbeth; it was reminiscent of the Middle Ages but still completely modern. I also thought about Emma Bovary a lot. This character is extremely contemporary. Madame Bovary expressed women’s disarray, which is the same today as it was a century ago. I think Vivien Leigh was sublime in A Streetcar Named Desire. I am fascinated by her fragile character dressed in a gorgeous negligee.

Yves Saint Laurent, interview with Catherine Deneuve, Globe, May 1, 1986 (reprinted in Yves Saint Laurent Style, Éditions La Martinière, 2008).