Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent passed away this Sunday in Paris at 71. Laurent was a boy-wonder who was chosen to take over for Christian Dior at age 21 after Dior died in 1958. Laurent was born in Algeria, and left for France at age 17 when he went to work for Dior. In 1962, Laurent parted from Dior to start his own label, financed by his partner, Pierre Berge. Yves Saint Laurent was known for popularizing menswear for woman and largely changing the way women dress by putting them in pants, pea coats and trenches. He often said that all a woman needed to be fashionable was a pair of pants, a sweater and a raincoat.

Just the other day, I caught a documentary about his life on the Sundance channel called Yves Saint Laurent - His Life and Times/5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris. Although in the film he said that he wished he could become a beatnik, but thought it was too late to change his style, his clean and stylish suits and trademark glasses were what made him recognizable. Maybe now Yves is in heaven wearing all black and banging on bongos like he always wanted to.

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