Homage to Piet Mondrian

Yves Saint Laurent’s passion for painting led him and Pierre Bergé to assemble a truly incredible art collection. The couturier also expressed his admiration for painters through the various garments he designed to honor the artists he loved. Saint Laurent maintained this “dialogue with art” all throughout his career, beginning with a series of dresses paying tribute to Piet Mondrian for the Autumn-Winter 1965 collection. Wool jersey was inlaid with no visible seams, allowing Saint Laurent to create a textile rendition of the Dutch artist’s paintings and channel Mondrian’s sense of geometry.

For this collection, Saint Laurent sketched a series of shoes that were made by the designer Rogier Vivier: black pumps decorated with a large square buckle in gold or silver metal. The heroine of Belle de Jour, played by Catherine Deneuve, chose to wear them in the film. This design proved so successful that it ended up being named after the movie.

The international press was dazzled by Saint Laurent’s moving works of art. Diana Vreeland raved about them in the New York Times, deeming this “the best collection,” while Women’s Wear Daily called Saint Laurent the “king of Paris.”