These are my copies of some of Saint Laurent's original sketches from his 1971 Collection du Scandale. They are wonderful to draw: the simplicity of the silhouette and clean lines mean that the sketch comes together in just a few swift, bold strokes of the pen.

There is a very measured and contained- though not restrained- feel to these designs. The use of fabric is not copious or extravagant but the capitalisation on the feminine form to give structure to the silhouette creates an understated sense of decadence and, above all, elegance.

The ensembles are very wearable and practical: it's easy to imagine them out on the daily catwalk of the modern high street today. Although the scandalous nature of the collection has not endured from the 70s, its appeal to the modern eye certainly has.

Cinched waists and flowing sleeves and skirts flatter the figure, whilst being grounded by rich colours: deep reds, greens, and blues, with black featuring heavily, sometimes with a single coloured embellishment such as an appliqué sequin design or an attached flower cluster. Bold but regular and orderly patterned fabrics do not distract from the essentially clean and compact style.

Four words to describe a subtly sumptuous collection which immediately strikes the modern eye: sophisticated, understated, elegant, easy.

And that is what fashion fundamentally allows: ease of expression, ease of communication, ease of creation.

Georgia Corrigan

Sketch from Bergé et al, Yves Saint Laurent The Scandal Collection 1971 (New York, Abrams, 2017) : page 69 (ensembles pantalons) - 47 Collection board "Pantsuits" 
As above, page 71 (habille) 

As above, page 159 (show) -
80 Collection board "Evening"  

As above, page 63, a rejected sketch
As above, page 77 (soir) -
39 Collection board "Evening"

As above, page 70 (habille) -
60 Collection board "Formal wear" 

Saint Laurent's Collection du Scandale may no longer cause the scandal it did at the time, but the silhouettes have proved to be timeless. This is a dress I picked up in a small second-hand vintage shop. It looks like it could have come straight out of Saint Laurent's Collection du Scandale, what with its cinched waist, clean lines, fluid skirt and sleeves, and gold on black. Very light on the body, it flows with movement, creating an effortlessly classic silhouette. I've copied out in pen one of the rejected sketches from the collection which possesses a striking resemblance to it.

As above, page 62, a rejected sketch

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