Thanks To This Book, Yves Saint Laurent & His Accessories Live On

"One can never overstate the importance of accessories. They are what turns a dress into something else. I like dresses to be sober and accessories to be wild," Yves Saint Laurent said in 1977. In his life, the French creater was sober and wild himself — the two states of mind acting as the perfect contrasts for what would inspire his legacy as one of the greatest fashion designers of our time. It's why there are so many books, exhibitions, and even a museum dedicated to his legacy. A coffee table book chronicling the highs and lows of the finer details of his collections — Yves Saint Laurent: Accessories — is the latest must-read, must-own memento.

From 1962 to his last collection in 2002, Accessories documents just about every hat, earring, bracelet, belt, and bag — any embellishing apparatus you can think of. Page by page, Saint Laurent's work speaks for itself: be it dozens of sketches of what looks like the same hat but isn't, headpieces that no doubt have graced a Met Gala red carpet or two, or old polaroids of models like Jerry Hall and runway snaps of Laetitia Casta — its in the world of accessories that the French couturier let his imagination run free.

The thousands of costume pieces archived in the opus reflect a contemporary fashion house that continues to revive and preserve its history, as it did even before Saint Laurent's death in June 2008. It may be one of the many summations of the work of Yves Saint Laurent that you can hold in your hands, but it is the most in-depth archives to date. Glamorous, provocative, and anything but minimal, Accessories comprises the tiniest magic of Yves Saint Laurent.

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<p>Yves Saint Laurent in his studio during preparations for a show.</p> <p><em>5 Avenue Marceau, Paris, 1986.</em></p> <span>© Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/All Rights Reserved.</span>

Yves Saint Laurent in his studio during preparations for a show.

5 Avenue Marceau, Paris, 1986.

© Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/All Rights Reserved.
<p>Original sketch for a day outfit accessorized with a man’s hat, a large pectoral with a Maltese cross and gloves. The handwritten note reads: "Much admired again with the little black dress and a change of accessories: Lady Detterling at the Ritz."</p> <p><em>Fall 1988.</em></p> <span>© FondationPierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/All Rights Reserved.</span>

Original sketch for a day outfit accessorized with a man’s hat, a large pectoral with a Maltese cross and gloves. The handwritten note reads: "Much admired again with the little black dress and a change of accessories: Lady Detterling at the Ritz."

Fall 1988.

© FondationPierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/All Rights Reserved.
<p>Bird earrings (made by Goossens) and brooch (made by Samir Sabbagh), worn with a long evening outfit.</p> <p><em>Haute couture, spring 1988.</em></p>

Bird earrings (made by Goossens) and brooch (made by Samir Sabbagh), worn with a long evening outfit.

Haute couture, spring 1988.

<p>Fez made of printed foal leather with feathers pinned in place by a multicolored diamanté brooch (made by Samir Sabbagh).</p> <p><em>Haute couture, fall 1992.</em></p> <span>© Lavanchy Matthieu.</span>

Fez made of printed foal leather with feathers pinned in place by a multicolored diamanté brooch (made by Samir Sabbagh).

Haute couture, fall 1992.

© Lavanchy Matthieu.
<p>Pleated lamé turban ornamented with a sequined palm leaf created by Nina Wood, gold braid belt embroidered with pearls (made by Hervé L. Leroux), worn with an Indian-inspired evening outfit.</p> <p><em>Haute couture, spring 1982.</em></p> <span> © Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent,Paris/All Rights Reserved.</span>

Pleated lamé turban ornamented with a sequined palm leaf created by Nina Wood, gold braid belt embroidered with pearls (made by Hervé L. Leroux), worn with an Indian-inspired evening outfit.

Haute couture, spring 1982.

© Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent,Paris/All Rights Reserved.
<p>Sheet of designs incorporating a series of buttoned day suits.</p> <p><em>Haute couture, spring 1970.</em></p>

Sheet of designs incorporating a series of buttoned day suits.

Haute couture, spring 1970.

<p>Flower earrings in enameled metal, flower necklace made of enameled metal and pieces of mother-of-pearl, butterfly brooches made of mother-of- pearl, worn with a long evening.</p> <p><em>Haute couture, spring 1992.</em></p> <span> © Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent,Paris/All Rights Reserved.</span>

Flower earrings in enameled metal, flower necklace made of enameled metal and pieces of mother-of-pearl, butterfly brooches made of mother-of- pearl, worn with a long evening.

Haute couture, spring 1992.

© Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent,Paris/All Rights Reserved.
<p>Ear of corn brooch made of diamanté with gilt metal whiskers (made by Goossens).</p> <p><em>Haute couture, spring 1989.</em></p> <span>© Lavanchy Matthieu.</span>

Ear of corn brooch made of diamanté with gilt metal whiskers (made by Goossens).

Haute couture, spring 1989.

© Lavanchy Matthieu.

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