In 2002, at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Yves Saint Laurent showed his 200th runway show and the last couture collection the maison would make for almost a decade. The spectacular saw 100 models, including Jerry Hall, Laeticia Casta, Cara Bruni and Claudia Schiffer, walk, while YSL muse Catherine Deneuve purred "Ma Plus Belle Histoire d'Amour c'est Vous" at the end of the runway. More than just another Haute Couture collection; this show was a celebration of the designer's magnificent 40-year-legacy at his eponymous maison. Now, 13 years later, Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane has made the surprise announcement that he's revived the couture line - this time minus the glamourarti fanfare.
"Hedi began to recompose the traditional couture ateliers of the house in 2012," Saint Laurent revealed alongside a series of black-and-white images shot at the Hôtel de Sénecterre, a 17th-century mansion on the Left Bank which Slimane has meticulously been restoring for three years to become the house's exquisite new headquarters. "The ateliers are now at the centre of the Saint Laurent project by Hedi Slimane," continues the release.
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In saying that, don't expect Slimane to stage a Haute Couture spectacle anytime soon. With no plans to put on a show, the house aims to provide a service that is even more of an exclusive club than that of traditional couture; each client must get the nod from Slimane himself in order to gain the "Yves Saint Laurent" couture label. "The ateliers also produce commissioned hand-made pieces for movie stars and musicians. Hedi determines which of these pieces will carry the atelier's hand-sewn couture label 'Yves Saint Laurent'. These couture pieces may be women or men, a tuxedo or an evening dress, daywear or eveningwear. The 'Yves Saint Laurent' private atelier label is made of ivory silk satin and is numbered by piece. The atelier keeps a strict record of all the couture pieces in a gold monogram book."