Sometimes the detail photos in runway shots are a lot more interesting than the entire outfit. These are from the Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2012 RTW collection, as seen at Vogue.com.
There is something perpetually 1970's about Yves Saint Laurent -- in the best sort of way. There was a liberated spirit about that decade, one of the few truly modern eras in high fashion, marked by kind of rebirth of sophistication, a serious return to the elements of design and a desire to innovate. Fashion "broke the mold" in the 60's, but it came of age in the 70's.
I think of YSL as "hard-edged glamour" -- but never trashy, never crass. Some YSLs from 40 years ago can easily compete with a lot of contemporary fashion and will probably outlast them 40 years from now.
The YSL woman is confident, cosmopolitan and eternally sophisticated. I like to believe there is a YSL woman in each of us!