Saint Laurent Mondrian Dress

Colour block shift dress Fall/Winter 1965-66

The Garment which I have chosen to analyse was designed and created by Yves Saint Laurent, the french designer who founded the brand in 1961. This wool dress was on the runway in the  Fall/Winter collection of 1965-66 (The Met, [Online] )and is one of the most iconic pieces of the brand. Yves Saint Laurent was different to many Haute Couture designers at the time because he focused as much on his Ready to Wear Collection as he did his couture (he opened his first store in 1966), this is because he believed that “fashion would be a sad business if all it did was put clothes on rich women” (SAVIGNON, J, DE BURE, G. BERGE. P 2011 Page 8), this may be one of the reasons why this dress gained its popularity as it appealed to a wider market than many other high end garments. The dress featured on the Front Cover of September issue of French Vogue in 1965, the most prestigious of all the months.

Editorial showcasing dress in Vogue (1966)

The Mondrian Dress was made up of different blocks of the primary colours and was designed only a fortnight before the show. (Art on Fashion 2015) This clip portrays Yves Saint Laurent designing the collection in the 2014 film about his life; (Journalist at The Telegraph, 2014) The block colours dress was made even more effective by doing tiny stitches which “followed the gains of the fabric so that the seams between the coloured panels were almost invisible.” (RAWSTHORN, A 1996 Page 77) This highlights the attention to detail the designer is known for especially with the hurry to get the garments produced. The dress mirrors the fashion of the 1960s with the shift shape which evolved from the sack dress of the 195os.

Mondrian Print which inspired Yves Saint Laurent


Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 17.43.21
Next Colourblock Top.

The dress was designed for Fall/Winter and this is reflected in the fabric composition of wool, however the weight of the fabric also adds to the drape of the fabric with the garment managing to curve around the body of the wearer at the same time of giving the illusion of the dress having straight seams. Therefore it is fit for purpose for the time period for which was intended, it is also a dress which could easily be layered by putting tights and long sleeved tops underneath.

The print of this dress is still relevant today as it is coming back into fashion, for example in the current

collection  sold by next in the current trend of athleisure. This can be seen as a take on the Mondrian print due to the colours and sharp lines. However the prices of this dress will be fractional compared to the amount of a YSL dress. The next top is also in a similar shape to the one of the dress, this is because it hands away from the body but still creates the illusion of straight lines to give a slim silhouette.


Mondrian Dress [Online]  The Met Museum , Available at

SAVIGNON, J, DE BURE, G. BERGE. P (2011)  Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Fashion Revolution book, France, Abrams BERGE. P Page 8

RAWSTHORN, A (1996) Yves Saint Laurent  USA, Diane Publishing Company,Page 77

The Mondrian Dress [Online]  Art on Fashion, Available at

Journalist at The Telegraph (2014) Life of Saint Laurent  [Online] The Telegraph, Available at: :

Next Directory (2017) [Online] Available at


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