The Man Who Put Women in Pants

Saint Laurent made Marc Jacobs and Hillary Clinton possible
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2008 11:29 AM CDT
In this Nov. 12, 1965 file photo, French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, right, laughs with actress-singer Barbra Streisand, backstage at the Winter Garden Theater in New York, Nov. 12, 1965.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – 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.