"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 creator 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.