Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian Dress

Following on from my post about Roger Vivier's Pilgrim pump, today I thought I'd talk about Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dress collection, which the Pilgrim pump had been designed to complement.

Released in 1965, the Mondrian dress paid homage to Piet Mondrian's Neo-Plasticist paintings of the 1930s. The dress was a knee length wool or jersey shift dress that was set in blocks like a canvas. Using only three primary colours, combined with white and divided by black lines, created a strong contrast and reflected Mondrian's style of painting. The dresses also displayed Yves Saint Laurent's expertise in garment construction as the colour blocking accommodated the body by hiding the shaping of the shift dress in the grid of seams.

The Mondrian dress was popularised when it was featured on the cover of French Vogue in September 1965 and many cheaper copies were subsequently produced. Yves Saint Laurent even designed a Mondrian dress for Vogue Paris Originals, oh how I would love to get my hands on that pattern!


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  1. Oh weren't these dresses beautiful? It would be a dream to have one. A couple of years ago I came across a dress inspired by these designs but for some silly reason I didn't buy it. Since I have always wished that I had. I hope that one day that pattern falls into your possession!

  2. what a great dress! i just love all the different takes on the design, especially the last one.
    i love the variety in the colors, however, if i make something like this, i'd love to try and pick a specific color theme and work from there.
    then again, it just might change how charming it is.
    anyway, hope that you can find and make a dress like this.
    how fun would that be?


  3. Hello again, Sarah! I hope you are doing well, dear friend. It's exciting when a fashion trend is inspired by an art movement. As you pointed out, this one celebrates Dutch painter Mondrian's form characterized by vertical and horizontal straight lines, geometric shapes, black and white and bold primary colors. I hope you can lay your hands on the pattern and attempt to produce this style of dress. You'd look smashing in it, I'm sure.

    Take care of yourself and have a wonderful week ahead, dear friend Sarah!

  4. These are gorgeous, the ultimate 1960s frock! I had a pair of Mondrian repro tights (via the chazza shop) I wore to death in the 1980s) xxx

  5. id love to get that first dress pattern! how fabulous!
    I remember seeing that dress when i was a kid in some situation - a movie or book. and then later on seeing the Mondrian painting. from then on i would draw little coloured squares in my books and my drawings!
    It wasn't until later i found out the artist and that there was a whole art movement that it belonged too. so i did a whole project on de stijl when i was in design school!


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