Leading figures are rare in any field. In fashion, there were only five in the 20th century: Poiret, Chanel, Dior, Balenciaga — and Saint Laurent. All the dress ideas of the last century have come from them. There is a strong case to be made for Yves Saint Laurent as the most inventive, original and influential of all the five. Certainly, it is time to say that the way women have dressed in the past 40 years — regardless of age, class or wealth — has been the direct result of the ideas, often radical and even initially unacceptable, of Saint Laurent.
(There will be something from me in the Guardian tomorrow)