Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Composition’

If you happened to notice the iconic Yves Saint Laurent dress from his Piet Mondrian’s ‘Composition’ series which fetched last week $27,500 (against its pre-sale estimate of $4,000 to $6,000) at the Chicago-based auction house Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ April Couture Auction, you probably wondered about the long sleeves (below). With the abstract, geometric language of the Dutch De Stijl Movement and the silhouette of the mini-dress, the famed collection of 1965 had immediately come to capture the spirit of the age. In fact, the dresses, some of which was found in museum collections today, have become more famous than the original painting. ‘Composition’ was comprised of six sleeveless cocktail dresses, inspired by the Mondrian’s painting ‘Composition avec bleu, rouge, jaune et noir’ of 1922 which was in the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, sold at Christie’s in 2009 (below). Each of the six dresses in the collection features graphic black lines and blocks of white and primary color, made of pre-dyed fabrics. The dress, which sold last week has long sleeves because it was costume-made for a New York socialite. 

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