Already one of the most sought-after labels since he retired in 2002, with his recent death, early Yves Saint Laurent is now one of the most coveted names in the market for vintage; in particular, anything from his Fall/Winter 1976 Ballets Russes collection and any of the iconic and extremely rare couture Mondrian dresses, made even more scarce by the fact that 80 percent of them are already part of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.
"The Mondrian dress is made of a thick jersey that is susceptible to moths, so it's exceptionally rare to come across one that's in good condition," vintage expert Didier Ludot recently told WWD, noting that their going rate is around 30,000 Euros ($50,000), while any piece owned at some point by Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Aillaud, or Loulou de la Falaise equals an automatic doubling in price.
"The early couture pieces are rare," agrees vintage dealer Cameron Silver of Decades. "I don't see a lot of couture Mondrian dresses floating around, sadly." With stylish A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Chloë Sevigny, Kristin Davis and Rachel Griffiths known for their love of early YSL, Silver predicts to see even more of it on the red carpet, in particular pieces from the less elite Rive Gauche line, despite the fact that the most recent treasure trove to come to light was almost three years ago following socialite clotheshorse Nan Kempner's 2005 death.
The fact is, collectors love their Saint Laurent with an unparalleled passion. "Collectors have a hard time parting with their Yves Saint Laurent pieces, but they know that I'm here," sighs Ludot. "Every day I hope to get that call, every day. It's my dream." (via WWD)
- Lesley Scott