Living: The Designer at Home

Yves Saint Laurent radiates timidity and a fragile, overstrained sensibility. Last Tuesday when he found his way to the Costume Institute in the bowels of the Metropolitan Museum, he was stopped by a security guard and meekly signed in to see his own show. As the frantic week of preparation went on, he was coaxed one way by Diana Vreeland, the other by his hectoring partner, Pierre Bergé. Saint Laurent did his best, moving as if in a daze.

He is, he says, "honored" by this retrospective, which is his symbolic coronation as the monarch of fashion, but it comes at a...

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