Fashion, Style

The Fashion Alphabet


As female fashionistas, we know we’re all guilty of wanting to look like one of the boys. No, that doesn’t mean a dirty oversized tee and baggy shorts with terrible sneakers, ugh. No, that means looking as good as he does in a suit, of not better than him. Women have been adopting the androgynous look for years and have found several ways to adapt the male suit.

Today we look at a designer who essentially founded the whole movement. He was known for a number of great designs and style feats but in particular we will look at…


YSL: Le Smoking

It was in 1966, when the iconic designer, Yves Saint Laurent created a collection that would be praised for years to come, that would be copied a million times over and of course adapted by young aspiring fashionistas raiding their father’s or boyfriends closets. In 1966 Laurent created Le Smoking.

The look was, on a basic level, made up of a tuxedo suit in velvet or wool. It was stylized and worn with nothing underneath, or alternatively dressed up with a frilly white shirt, tie and cummerbund. It very quickly began to serve as the sultry and yet masculine alternative to the Little Black Dress. Le Smoking became such an iconic key player in the establishment of the YSL brand that it was made certain that some expression of it was included in every subsequent fashion collection, continuing up to present day with the YSL’s current head designer, Stefano Pilati.

Over the years, the tuxedo suit has re-emerged – a little more chic, a little more modern. In certain instances it has been reworked as a dress or trench coat, given a bolero in place of a jacket and shorts instead of trousers, incarnated in velvet, silk or leather.

It was the original 1966 Le Smoking that remained Laurent’s personal favourite right until his end. Laurent himself linked the unending appeal and desire of iconic status that came along with Le Smoking to the fact it captured an attitude or mode, rather than any particular details of the garment.

Le Smoking was a bold, sophisticated choice for the liberated woman. To this day, the look is still and will always be sought after. Women long to look as fabulous and bad ass as Marlene Dietrich did, in fact they just long to develop their own sense of style with regards to this acknowledged style.

Below we take a look at some of the most famous Le Smoking looks throughout the ages…

smokingK-113708_L tumblr_m8cofvPwfs1r9jxn2o1_500 20th ecf19da95668e50b_le_smoking_2 le,-1976-orig naomi-campbell.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x kate-moss.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x kirsten-dunst.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x charlotte-rampling.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x claudia-schiffer.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x Emma-Watson-le-smoking.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x Jennifer-Connelly-le-smoking.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x carey-mulligan.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x Gia-Coppola-le-smoking.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x marlene-dietrich.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x saint-laurent-02.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x 1971_Bianca_Jagger_2836527a ellen-degeneres_2842991a 1968_Betty_Catroux_2837731a 1966_Catherine_Den_2837729a 2001_Lauren_Becall_2837727a ellen-page_2842992a 54bb5ad523851_-_hbz-the-list-06-le-lfsaps-smokingysl and cath 1979_Loulou_de_la__2837732a le-smoking_2837385a 2012_Hedi_Slimane_2837735a 54bb5ad20e8db_-_hbz-the-list-01-le-smoking-86615521biance jagger 2012_Anne_Hathaway_2837725a

What a myriad of great style icons wearing the iconic Le Smoking look, all by YSL himself or his successors.

Whether you have rocked this look yourself or you have tried the most basic version of it, there is no denying that look has influenced us all. It is a trend that has stuck and it will remain as a legacy and an homage to the great YSL.


“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.”

~ Yves Saint Laurent

Share your thoughts and comments below!

Thanks VB xx


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