The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris


By Alicia Drake

In 1971 Yves Saint Laurent launched his first men's fragrance and used his naked self as the central star of the advertising campaign. It was a far cry from his former buttoned-up self as shows how radically Yves had been influenced by the storm of sexual liberation. It was French fashion photographer Jeanloup Sieff who took the photograph, but crucially, it was Yves, not Sieff, who devised the idea for the image; he wanted to be shown naked. Yves appeared in a black and white portrait sitting on a pile of black leather cushions with his body shown at the height of its allure'slim, taut, and mesmerizing in its grace. It was the body type that was considered the homosexual ideal at that moment in time and the image became a pin-up poster for a new generation of teenage boys.