Yves Saint Laurent: “Le Smoking”, the first female tuxedo

Yves Saint Laurent: “Le Smoking”, the first female tuxedo

     The famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent adapted the men tuxedo for women and thanks to that, he revolutionized the way women dressed forever on.

     While, in the 1960’s, for evenings, it was proper for women to wear long dresses and for men, a tuxedo. But Yves Saint Laurent broke up these codes by adapting the pants for the women, as well as this male garment for his feminine clientele.

YSL tuxedo    In effect, in 1966, during his runway show of autumn and winter collection, he introduced the first women’s tuxedo that he invented, “Le Smoking”. Because of this creation, he caused a public scandal and provoked deep reactions that drew him more attention and made him even more famous.

     Despite the “second wave feminism” which appeared in the 60’s and which was encouraged by few developments as the availability of the contraception pill, it was still controversial and perceived as scandalous for a woman to wear trousers in public.

“For a woman, le smoking is an indispensable garment with which she finds herself continually in fashion, because it is about style, not fashion. Fashions come and go, but style is forever.”

     Finally, Yves Saint Laurent was seen by many as having empowered women by giving them the opportunity to wear clothes that were usually worn by men, and that with influence and power. So, thanks to him, the Smoking became a classic of the feminine wardrobe and women still love Yves Saint Laurent’s invention. It has continued to influence nowadays fashion designer’s collections and it remains still one of the most popular pieces in todays fashion shows.

YSL first female smoking

Lola de la Villejegu


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