Indian designers lament French icon Yves Saint Laurent’s passing

June 2nd, 2008 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) India’s designer fraternity Monday mourned the passing away of French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, saying his death had created a void that would be difficult to fill. “I would call him a legendary fashion figure,” designer Rina Dhaka, who had worked with YSL, as he was generally referred to, backstage at a show in India some two decades ago, told IANS.

“He has left behind a fashion legacy that actually started with him,” said Ritu Kumar, a former president of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI).

“YSL was instrumental in bringing power dressing to the world,” said designer Raghavendra Rathore.

YSL, considered one of the most important figures in the fashion history, died in Paris Sunday after battling a protracted illness, his friend and partner Pierre Berge said Monday.

Born on Aug 1, 1936, in the port city of Oran in Algeria, YSL became famous in the 1960s for his women’s tuxedo. In 2002, he withdrew from the public eye, and his brand now belongs to the French luxury company PPR.

On the company web site, YSL is described as “one of the 20th century’s most innovative and provocative designers. He created signature looks and styles and left a legacy of timeless iconic products such as the tuxedo, the pantsuit, the safari jacket and the trench coat.”

According to Dhaka, YSL would “always be remembered for his white formal suits. He used to use lavish Indian embroidery in his work and he had great love for India.

“He once had a magnificent show in India. At that time, I was a student and I assisted him backstage for the show - what luxury, tremendous sets - it was all just lovely.

“He became very reclusive in his last years and yes, it is a great loss to the fashion world,” Dhaka added.

Noting that YSL was just 22-years-old when the legendary Christian Dior died, Kumar said he was “very soon was being recognized for his genius as a fashion prot

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