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Style Icons – Yves Saint Laurent


James Ferguson Berr

As a musician, brit pop and indie music enthusiast, I was enticed by the style of Paul Weller and Bryan Ferry. In fact, everyone dressed by Tommy Nutter and Edward Sexton in the 1970s. Yet the style icon that inspired my interest in the world of fashion early on is Yves Saint Laurent. I am not speaking about his opus as a couturier – equally thrilling and relevant to the world of suits (thinking of the dinner jacket for women). No, this article is about his personal style! 

Frankly, fashion designers are a paradox to me. They dedicate their lives to the world of fabrics and design, yet their wardrobes rarely reflect a refined taste. YSL is a rare exception. His sense of style stands out, especially his outfits from the 1970s.  

Having spent long periods of time in Marrakesh, he showed his love for its unrivalled array of patterns and colours. He often wore suit combinations, mixing wildly checked jackets with striped shirts and wide trousers. When he wore suits – usually quite conservatively solid coloured or striped – he would combine these with a shirt and tie in contrasting bold checks, stripes, colours or patterns. A style philosophy we share here at Mogg’s! Loud shirts and ties are complemented by more restrained and conservative suits. Saint Laurent liked his lapels peaked and wide and his shirts had long collars – does this ring a bell? It’s a rather common 70s look, but the execution is impeccable.

If his looks teach us one thing, then it is to experiment and play with colours, patterns and combinations. If he had come by our shop after a long night at the Paris Bar on Kantstrasse, Saint Laurent would definitely have felt at home. I imagine him wearing a single-breasted suit with a wide, peaked lapel, generous trousers, a multi-stripe shirt with Zee Jerman collar and a wildly patterned tie. Yes, I’m sure he would have liked our window. Maybe he would have stopped by the next day to have a chat. JB/NS