Smoke without fire

It was in 1966 that Yves Saint Laurent’s introduced his first “le smoking” – a classic three-button dinner jacket, worn with a frilled white silk blouse, tied with a black ribbon at the neck, and mannish trousers featuring a satin side-stripe.

The look – at once androgynous, mysterious and alluring – was immortalized by the late Helmut Newton in 1975, with his black and white photograph of a model in the rue Aubriot in Paris, wearing that season’s “le smoking”, with her hair slicked back and right hand clutching a cigarette. It became one of YSL’s most recognizable signatures.

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