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Le Smoking, the constant feminist icon from Yves Saint Laurent

Le Smoking, the constant feminist icon from Yves Saint Laurent

“For a woman, a tuxedo is an indispensable piece of clothing that she will always feel stylish about wearing, as it is a style statement, not a fashion item. Fashion is temporary, style is forever.” – Yves Saint Laurent

Le Smoking, the constant feminist icon from Yves Saint Laurent

First launched in the PopArt Fall/Winter 1966 collection of young designer Yves Saint Laurent, design number 262 titled Le Smoking, despite receiving many negative reactions, has proudly become one of the Contemporary fashion icons with timeless influences.

Le Smoking borrows from the traditional men’s three-piece suit, with a vest, vest, and trousers, combined with details from women’s fashion. With his natural talent and sophistication, the outstanding student of Christian Dior blew into that three-piece suit the softness and femininity that exalted women’s curves but still remained sturdy and elegant. original.

The name Le Smoking is named after the shirt that a gentleman uses in a “smoking room”, to prevent cigarette butts from sticking to his shirt. Feminine detailing is reflected in the satin silk lapel, softly curving along the bust to reveal sexy highlights, along with a tighter waistline than a men’s vest.

It is unclear where the inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent to design the Le Smoking suit came from. Many people believe that the veteran designer tailor-made the outfit for the longtime muse Danielle Luquet de Saint Germain – a model famous for her bisexual style. Others said that the young man was impressed by the French painter Niki de Saint Phalle, who often wore men’s suits and high heels.

Yves Saint Laurent personally mentioned Marlene Dietrich, the female star who brought a masculine style to the silver screen. “I was deeply impressed by a photo of Marlene Dietrich in menswear. A tuxedo, blazer, or military uniform – a woman who dresses like a man must have a lot of confidence in her femininity to fight off clothes that weren’t designed for her.”

At the time Le Smoking was released, the trend of women’s clothing at that time was the standard hourglass-shaped designs such as peplum tops and long skirts – all because of the success of the collection. New Look by Christian Dior. Therefore, as soon as Yves Saint Laurent released Le Smoking, he suffered a backlash from the public who argued that women should not dress like men with trousers and vests. “People were laughing and shouting,” the designer described in a 2005 interview. “What a farce.”

But what makes people forbid, is the more Yves wants to do. And in the process attract a “hard” fan base who are the most vocal women in society. The climax was when the social activist and upper-class businessman Nan Kempner was refused service by the prestigious Le Côte Basque restaurant in New York while wearing the Le Smoking set because she thought she was wearing inappropriate clothes and causing difficulties. bear for others.

So she took off her pants and turned her vest into a mini skirt as an insult to their old ways! The following year, Bianca Jagger chose to have Yves Saint Laurent turn the Le Smoking set into her own wedding suit.

Along with the progress of the feminist movement, Le Smoking has become a powerful weapon in expressing feminist views, breaking down stereotypes about “femininity” and redefining the charm of women. woman. Through Le Smoking, the fashion boundary between the two sexes seems to be blurred and has a strong impact on women’s clothing design thinking as well as encouraging women to choose more non-gender items to express their beauty. me, my personality, and my charm.

The image of a tall, thin woman wearing Le Smoking, a cigarette in her hand, slicking back her hair on Aubriot Street in Paris at night can be said to be one of the classic moments in fashion history. The legendary photograph shot by Helmut Newton in 1975 perfectly embodies the spirit that Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent wanted to convey through Le Smoking: daring, provocative, sexy, and attractive.

Indeed, the tailor-made cutting technique of classic menswear combined with the most personalized form to accentuate the curves on the mysterious black tone fabric – Le Smoking guarantees. It gives the woman wearing it a very “chic” look that is discreet but sexy, elegant, and powerful. This tuxedo has been present in a series of collections since its debut in 1966 until Yves parted ways with his eponymous fashion house in 2002.

Until 2016, his legacy was once again stronger than ever, helping to strengthen the brand’s identity under the talented hands of designer Anthony Vaccarello. Le Smoking by Anthony has many changes, improvements in design, and the use of more diverse materials, but the spirit that the founder wants to convey is about how women see their femininity, and the freedom to choose.

The choice and confidence in who they are and how they want the world to see them have never faded. Besides, with the gender equality movement and the development of the LGBT+ community, the Le Smoking vest is more popular than ever when it does not frame the wearer into any gender.

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