Photographs by Jerry Schatzberg
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J’adore artsy coffee table books. They are pretty, full of great pictures and when left on display for guests, make you look far more high-brow and sophisticated than you actually are. PARIS 1962 is a perfectly delightful addition to my collection. The book chronicles boy wonder Yves Saint Laurent’s solo debut and designer Marc Bohan’s collection for Christian Dior. Schatzberg’s photographs have the unique ability of making the reader feel like a participant in this grand fashion circus, sitting in the back of the room spying on the crowd behind your Jackie O shades or dressing a model for a late night Helmut Newton photo shoot. Everyone is fabulous, glamorous, eccentric and on their way to a cocktail soiree at Holly Golightly’s walk-up apartment…even Salvador Dali makes an appearance. The chaos of the runway is contrasted by the quiet of a French woman picking up an empty salon, the carnival having moved on to other shows and parties. Insightful essays from Julia Morton and Patricia Bosworth highlight the escapades of the participants and give a brief history of the Paris fashion world in the early sixties and Saint Laurent himself. The book is a poignant tribute to the late Saint Laurent, last of the great couturiers. Schatzberg gives us Yves young, full of promise and talent, just stepping out of the shadow of Christian Dior and embarking on a remarkable journey.