Yves Saint Laurent + Halston Fashioning the ’70s Patricia Mears, Emma McClendon

Publication date:
05 Mar 2015
Yale University Press
184 pages: 279 x 229mm
120 color + 10 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

A dazzling examination of the two designers behind the most iconic and glamorous fashions of the 1970s

This fascinating publication is the first to examine side by side the careers and work of two of the biggest names in 20th-century fashion, Yves Saint Laurent (1936–2008) and Halston (1932–1990). Their designs—chic, sexy, and glamorous—came to exemplify the 1970s, a singular and dynamic era in fashion history. Inspired by menswear, foreign cultures, and wide-ranging historical periods, and employing new fabrics, YSL and Halston together crafted a new and distinctly modern way of dressing.
Moreover, although their output differed and they were based on different continents, the two designers shared many career parallels. A visual timeline of the designers’ lives illustrates how their rises and falls, from the 1950s to their respective struggles in the 1980s, were surprisingly in sync. Engaging passages by Patricia Mears and Emma McClendon discuss the social, cultural, and economic factors that influenced both designers, and their subsequent impact on fashion—including the rise of the star designer as personality, the cult of celebrity, and the creation of the fashion conglomerate. The authors also address the importance of color, cutting-edge materials, innovative construction techniques, accessories, and perfume to both designers’ aesthetics. Remarkable photographs of the designers and their garments round out this essential volume on two figures who made an indelible mark on fashion history.

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For a look inside Yves Saint Laurent  Halston: Fashioning the '70s visit the YaleBooks blog.

Patricia Mears is deputy director and Emma McClendon is an associate curator, both at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

‘Contrary to Fashion mythology, this lavishly illustrated book demonstrates that their clothing was often so similar, it could be hard to discern who designed what.’—Daily Mail.