At one point, Yves Saint Laurent was the youngest brand to create couture; the newest member of this most exclusive of clubs reserved for the Chanel's, Dior's, and Sciaparelli's of the world, and their few but loyal customers.
It's been more than a decade since the fashion house closed its couture line, but YSL's break from made-to-measure ended, officially, with an announcement made yesterday morning. Hedi Slimane, the creative director behind the brand, announced that Yves Saint Laurent was reviving their haute couture line. When I first read this, excitement grew in me as my imagination explored just the sort of sharp, cool, and well-crafted clothes that would be displayed at runway shows glamorous in the true Saint Laurent (by Hedi Slimane, of course) nature. But just as my thoughts were getting into the (made-up) details, I read that there would, tragically, be no show. The collection was displayed in the form of a monochromatic campaign, showing not only the clothes, but the character they created.
But these clothes won't be sold to just any paying customer. Only select individuals (that is, selected and approved by Slimane) will be able to own these clothes, due to a "case-by-case" and "friends of the house" restriction. The labels will read, "Yves Saint Laurent", not "Saint Laurent" as Slimane had the label changed to when he took over. (For couture, brands will normally keep the full name, to stay true to the heritage and history of haute couture; e.g. Christian Dior.) Each label shows the number of that particular piece existing in the world written on it and the number of and to whom these couture creations sold is also recored in a special, gold book residing in Paris.
Hedi Slimane has created an even more elite level above the already-elite, small world of couture. The customers are the true reflection of a brand, therefore this move for Saint Laurent puts the legendary house back on top.