5 Facts You Never Knew About YSL's Le Smoking Suit

In 1966, at a time when the perception of women wearing pants was considered off-kilter and inappropriate, Yves Saint Laurent introduced the world to Le Smoking, a tuxedo-style suit that quickly became the epitome of sex appeal. Though today we view the iconic look as an interesting alternative to the LBD, it signifies more than a party outfit: It’s a statement for women. Because of this, and admittedly because we’ve been dreaming of finding the perfect tuxedo to wear on New Year’s Eve, we gathered five fun facts about Le Smoking. Scroll down to check them out, and shop our tuxedo jacket picks too!


Helmut Newton

"Yet, for all the celebrity acclaim, it was undoubtedly photographer Helmut Newton who made Le Smoking iconic; his extraordinary capacity to imbue his subjects with a potent sexuality reaching new heights when married to the louche enigma of the YSL tuxedo. Shot for French Vogue in 1975, the story featured an androgynous woman standing in a hazily lit Parisian alleyway, hair slicked back, crisp white cravat, cigarette, entwined with a model dressed only in black stilettos. With stark monochrome simplicity, Newton created a piece of iconography that to this day has never gone out of fashion."

Source: AnOther


Reg Lancaster/Getty Images

"'Every year, we make a different interpretation of the tuxedo suit, but always with this fabric. Women can travel in it.' Saint Laurent has a great respect for women, and so he should; without them, he would be out of business. At every stage of the making of a suit, a house model tries it on to show Saint Laurent how the garment works in action. The suit must work on the body, allowing freedom of movement, otherwise it is altered until it does.”

Source: Independent


Reg Lancaster/Getty Images

"Few respectable restaurants or hotels allowed female guests to wear them inside. Nan Kempner was famously turned away from Le Côte Basque in New York while wearing her YSL tuxedo suit. Yet in the defiant style befitting of this androgynous, no-nonsense look, she removed the bottom half and waltzed into the restaurant wearing the jacket as a thigh-skimming mini dress instead. The manager later said that for formal dining attire trousers were as unsuitable as a bathing suit."

Source: Business Insider

“At first, editors and buyers didn't react well to Saint Laurent's collection; New York Times critic Gloria Emerson described his collection as 'lumpy' and 'outdated' and said Saint Laurent 'strains too hard to convince the world he is hand-in-hand and eye-to-eye with the very young.'"

Source: PopSugar


Pictorial Parade/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“The first to sport it was Catherine Deneuve in 1967.”

Source: Icon-Icon

Scroll to shop tuxedo jackets!