Living: Toasting Saint Laurent

A New York retrospective revels in glamour and luxury

The first impression is one of vitality and variety. The exhibition rooms of the Costume Institute at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art are bursting with lavish clothes: swift little contemporary silhouettes; magnificent ball gowns seemingly from a grander, more inert age; fantastical garments of no recognizable provenance. A few are so ugly that the eye looks away; many more are heartbreakingly lovely. They are all the work of one man: Yves Saint Laurent, 47, the most famous and influential clothing designer in the...

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