Yves Saint Laurent wasn’t just another designer. The man who died last night at 71 was an icon who forever changed the way women dress, Robin Givhan writes in the Washington Post. Start with this: Saint Laurent put women in pants. His elegant designs let women swagger like men, giving them “the sartorial equivalent of chutzpah.”
That alone would make him historic, but there was much more. "Without Saint Laurent," Givhan notes, "there would arguably be no Marc Jacobs … (and) how would our mind's eye see the authoritative ease expressed by Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton?" Saint Laurent's most important contribution, though, was his “ready to wear” line, which for the first time brought fashion to the masses.