French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (1 August 1936 – 1 June 2008) designed The Mondrian Collection in 1965. Part of this collection were six cocktail dresses that were inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian (1872–1944).
The convergence between fashion and art in the Mondrian
dresses is significant. Whilst reflecting the fashionable Western silhouette,
the designs also reflect the significance of the work of artists like Mondrian
during the sixties. The abstract, geometric visual language of the modernistic
Dutch movement De Stijl to which Mondrian belonged was applied to the design of
the six dresses.
Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930
Saint Laurent was known for his love of fine art, and had an
extensive collection covering a wide range of periods and styles which had important
influence on his work. He said of Mondrian:
is purity and on can go no further in purity in painting. This is a purity that
joins with that of the Bauhaus. The masterpiece of the twentieth century is a
have been described as a canvas on which Saint Laurent experimented with his
artistic ideas, and have become regarded as having captured the Zeitgest of
their era. As icons of 1965 fashion the dresses have been described as giving a
new perspective on haute couture - namely that it didn’t have to consist of a
total look any more, and that it could be easy to wear.
The Mondrian collection was widely published in many fashion
magazines, with one dress featuring on the cover of Vogue in 1965. Mondrian
style dresses became very popular, with many mass manufacturers producing
copies of the designs for lower prices, which were then widely circulated.
Original Mondrian dresses can be found in several museums
around the world, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the V&A Museum in
London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.