A small history of the TUXEDO by YSL

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In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent dressed models in a black tuxedo with a sheer blouse to walk the runway of Haute Couture in Paris. It was the year he introduced LE SMOKING. Society broke out in scandal! In the end, this garment became “the look” of the House and the Nr. 1 most beloved item of the Designer

Women wear masculine clothes way before Yves Saint Laurent introduced the tuxedo. However, in that period, women's emancipation was just at its beginning… Coco Chanel gave freedom to women, creating shapes and using materials (like jerseys) to offer women items that offered comfortability and freedom of movement. While Yves Saint Laurent gave power to women, transforming an “exclusively male” garment (at that time) into a classical wardrobe item for powerful independent, and emancipated women.

Initially, the designer proposed women wear a tuxedo with pants, in a masculine-like manner and a strong feminine sex appeal. Later, he suggested a tuxedo with a skirt. Nevertheless, when he noticed women wear a tuxedo on naked body, he introduced in 1970 the tuxedo-dress. It was a special event, something completely new and unexpected! It shocked the fashion world. Reporters and critics did not understand at first the concept, saying it was too avant-garde and even clumsy. However, among supporters of Yves Saint Laurent style were such personalities like Catherine Deneuve, Bianca Jagger, Liza Minelli, and other women with strong identities, who embraced this look at once! They have acquired a few tuxedoes to wear at different events. It became an absolute success! Today, the House Saint Laurent is releasing every season different and unexpected combinations of their iconic garment, keeping them on-trend: the tuxedo with shirts, bermuda, city shirts, stirrups, and more.


The tuxedo dress has become a deserving alternative for ladies wanting to wear something different than a classic evening dress. Soon enough, it occupied a fair place in the wardrobes of many stylish women of different époques and social statuses, including in the wardrobes of members of the royal families. 


This garment is always a win, no matter the time and place: perfect for business, casual, and evening occasions. The dominant colors are black and white, but nowadays we have exceptions in other colors and different fabrics, from glitters to velvets and sheer decorations in the neckline area. This silhouette dress can look very stylish and sexy, the important aspect is to choose the right model for your body type. Take into consideration, that this dress model draws particular attention to hips and visually looks massier, so it may not be suitable for ladies with a larger backside. 


The classical smoking dress or the tuxedo dress has a large collar in the atlas silk and golden buttons, reminding the origins of this masculine garment. The V-shaped collar is very sexy and uncovers lots of skin, which limits the ability to wear it for ladies with a larger bust.

With this dress will be most suitable wearing some statement jewelry, like a massive necklace, a particular bold ring, unique earrings, a few bracelets on the wrist, an exclusive watch, etc. On the reverse pocket of the dress, you may wear a statement broach or a piece of flower jewelry, see RESORT COLLECTION 2021 as an example. 


A small clutch with architectural forms will keep the look on point and display the attention on the right areas. Complete the look with a pair of high heels, best of all will look stilettos and pumps. For an exclusive sex appeal, you may add some contrast to the look by wearing a graphical eyeliner, a bold red lipstick, and a well-contoured matt foundation base. 


The name of this garment, the TUXEDO or SMOKING, took origins in late 1886 when a rich tobacco industrialist by the name Griswold Lorillard wore it for the first time attending the Tuxedo Club. Time passed, but the name “tuxedo” remained stitched to this costume style, which Americans got to embrace and love until today.

Moreover, until 1966, this item was exclusively part of a man’s closet. Nevertheless, thanks to the Yves Saint Laurent, women got access to this garment, and since that moment in time, unmistakable, it became part of women’s wardrobe around the world.

Ever since Marlene Dietrich famously wore ‘le smoking’, it has symbolized confidence and female sexual empowerment. Today we see this garment on the runways of many luxury fashion houses, proposing their model of tuxedo for women, among them are Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and more.

Best wishes,


MetropolitanMe Blogger