Monday, June 2, 2008


Yves Saint Laurent lived his life as in a dream. And for forty years he succeeded in giving the world a privileged glimpse of what he saw each day in that lush and, often, dangerous place.

He represented la belle France’s uneasy relationship with her colonial past, even as he lusted for the charms of an even earlier colonial era (that of his decadent forebears, Flaubert and Pierre Loti). Likewise, he craved the very things that a provincial upbringing kept at arm’s length: exceptionalism and cultural subversion.

He embodied both Schéhérazade and her Sultan – the sentence of death commuted, then reinstated by his whim: the sentence becoming, like the sentence of YSL’s beloved Proust, a golden thread sewn onto our living hearts.

So what shall it be to acknowledge the master’s leave-taking? Champagne or a little Opium?
(I shall let you choose, but I’m pushing the latter.)

Here’s to you, M. Laurent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lovely,strange fashion genius. A dear, departed friend modeled his life on M. Yves, to great success (minus the drugs and nervous breakdowns)....that sort of dedication to beauty is in short supply these days.

RIP Monsieur. I'm chilling a bottle of Billy Rose for a toast.


June 2, 2008 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Rive Gauche for me today: the scent that best embodied the empowerment Yves Saint Laurent's fashion gave to women in the 60s.

June 2, 2008 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Y is my choice- exquisite, timeless.

May he rest gently and profoundly, bodyand soul.

June 2, 2008 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

I usually keep a bottle of champagne chilling at all times, but these last few weeks I hadn't replenished the larder, so to speak. On Saturday afternoon I went out of my way to get a bottle, not knowing for whom it would be opened. But I had a hunch it would be for someone going away on a long journey.

June 2, 2008 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joined CC in Rive Gauche, today.

A great loss, indeed.

June 2, 2008 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

Opium has been my ally and calling card ever since I can remember myself. I feel hard for it as a teen, never to abandon its guiles. Lots of his other perfumes (Y, Kouros, Rive Gauche, In Love Again) have been dear, dear friends as well: I seemed to imagine I partook something of his vision when he commissioned them when I smelled them. They made me daydream, as did his fashions.

Yves had been the maestro whose orchestrations have really touched the strings of my heart. His baguette is now set for good....

Dommage! :-(

June 3, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vetivresse, I like the way you celebrate YSL's absolute and out-of-time class and elegance. "Uriental" like a seal of antique and modern beauty, a feverish quest of perfection, a mix of Orient and France, of desert and mondanity, of Ur and Uriage, of amber and roses.

My perfume is definitively Paris...

June 18, 2008 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Furoshiki- Nice to see a new face on here, or, as it were, hear a new voice. I could not have said it *better* -- YSL's was not a counterfeit Orientalism: it came from within him, from that struggle of both wanting and wanting not to fit in.

June 18, 2008 at 4:43 PM  

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