This weekend I watched a two-part documentary about Yves Saint Laurent which I highly recommend. Both parts are on the same DVD, YSL His Life and Times and 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris.
I didn't know much about YSL before this film. I didn't realize that he was such an innovator in the fashion world. He was the first to dress women in trousers and men's suits. He also employed black models at a time when no other fashion house in Europe was doing so.
Despite his popularity and success, he was a painfully shy introvert and he battled with depression and debilitating self-criticism his entire career. In one particularly interesting interview he describes the highs and lows of his creative process. The second part of the film was a fascinating inside look at the YSL house in the process of creating a collection. Watching the YSL team at work is poetry in motion, quite a contrast to the frenzied pace of the Project Runway designers (one of my favorite shows, btw).
I love this early photo of YSL with his models. It's from W magazine, which did an excellent article about YSL following his death in June 2008.