fashion Designers

YSL RETURNS TO ITS COUTURE ROOTS

While you and I may not be able to buy a $30,000 couture gown, a select handful of celebrities and socialites will soon be cutting each other to ribbons to pay prices like that. And what could cause such a fracas? Only the staggering news that Yves Saint Laurent under Hedi Slimane, is returning to doing couture - something YSL has not done since it's founder, Yves Saint Laurent, retired after his 200th show in 2002. And even more thrilling, it will be couture for women and men.

Most of us will be lucky to get a glimpse of the real thing in paparazzi photos, though YSL has announced a black and white ad campaign of a select few pieces for August. It is not known at this time if the precious garments, instant museum pieces, will appear in a scheduled show or simply create magnificence for an extremely rarified circle, taking a cue from Riccardo Tisci who revived Givenchy's couture operation. New York Magazine has announced, perhaps prematurely, that the pieces will only be available to "friends of the house," meaning that simply being rich is not good enough.

The owners of the House sent out a statement earlier today saying, "Hedi began to recompose the traditional couture ateliers of the house in 2012." The Kering-owned company told the

U.K.-based FashionTimes.com, "The ateliers are now at the centre of the Saint Laurent project by Hedi Slimane. The ateliers also produce commissioned hand-made pieces for movie stars and musicians. Hedi determines which of these pieces will carry the atelier's hand-sewn couture label 'Yves Saint Laurent'. These couture pieces may be women or men, a tuxedo or an evening dress, daywear or evening wear. The 'Yves Saint Laurent' private atelier label is made of ivory silk satin and is numbered by piece. The atelier keeps a strict record of all the couture pieces in a gold monogram book."

It should be noted that for the first time since Slimane's appointment, the name Yves has been added back into the Saint Laurent label. The new ateliers will be housed in a 17th century Parisian mansion, on Rue de l’Université complete with a "geometric garden," and when the New York Times' Vanessa Friedman asked Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, if YSL had gotten in touch about returning to the official couture sector, he emailed back, “No!”

To learn more, visit www.ysl.com #YvesSaintLaurent #HauteCouture #YSLCouture #HediSlimane 

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, Photography Courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent www.YSL.com