Yves Saint Laurent Jewellery

Vintage collectable jewellery

Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) designed his first costume jewellery in 1958 as chief designer at Christian Dior. He continued Dior’s taste for opulent designs set with the finest crystals.

Three years later he opened his own couture house. His 1962 runway show featured chain necklaces decorated with glass cabochons and faux pearls. But, by the end of the 1960s, his costume jewellery was becoming less traditional in taste. The 1967 Africa collection saw pearls and beaded jewellery joined by fantasy flowers which were created from poured glass by the Paris maker Gripoix. At around that time, Saint Laurent also worked with Roger Scemama to create bold, geometric pieces from wood and plastic featuring a daisy motif, naïve fishes, or cubes like a child’s building blocks.

During the 1970s he worked with companies such as Monet to create classic jewellery designs. Exaggerated examples of these were seen in the 1980s with gilt and faux emerald, amethyst, and topaz necklaces were teamed with his signature cuff bracelets, which were decorated with red and green, or fuchsia pink and persimmon.

In the late 1980s, Loulou de la Falaise began designing for Saint Laurent. She is known for unusual combinations of colour and texture. Her earlier Op-Art style pieces were followed by carved wood designs decorated with gold leaf.

The Design Gallery stocks vintage YSL pieces. A pair of abstract flower earrings (c1980s to early 1990s) were photographed for Judith Miller’s Costume Jewellery book (published November 2010).