Saturday, February 18, 2012

Betty Catroux - Legendary style icon, muse to Yves Saint Laurent

If she had a calling card, it would read "muse." Tom Ford dedicated his debut collection at YSL Rive Gauche to this lanky, equine beauty with the iconic curtain of blond hair. Helmut Newton's lens worshipped her angular, almost Amazonian frame. But Catroux's most famous collaboration has been with her longtime friend and partner in nightlife, Yves Saint Laurent, who still calls her his "twin sister." She combines androgynous glamour with a very Parisian sense of refined ennui and irreverence — at her 1968 wedding to decorator François Catroux, she wore a black-and-white fur chubby and knee-high patent-leather boots. When Victor Hugo asked her in 1976 what she normally did in Paris, Catroux answered "nothing" — the rest of the world, however, finds her quite something indeed.

—Laird Borrelli

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