"There is no one left to dress," Cristóbal Balenciaga famously said when he retired in the late 6os. He died a few short years later. The quote always comes back to me whenever an iconic designer goes off to the great catwalk in the sky, as if the supreme-male-diva decided - enough, there's no one left to stick around to dress. Yves Saint-Laurent who died yesterday aged 71, was among the greatest of the great couturiers. Design genius and long-term lover of Pierre Berge, Saint-Laurent it was who put women in smoking jackets, something the pant-suit-wearing Hilary Clinton would appreciate. Yves Saint-Laurent understood that fashion was the Opium of beautiful (not to mention rich) women, and he created a classic perfume to prove the point.
*Flanking Yves Saint-Laurent to the right of this image is the French actress Catherine Deneuve. The long-haired black model behind the designer on the left is his one-time muse, the Guinea-born model Katoucha Niane, who was found dead in the River Seine in Paris in February of this year.
I am a writer and arts journalist now based in Lagos. This is a blog on arts and culture. The focus is on Nigeria's art scene, especially her 'Word's Body' - the writers. As and when, we'll also touch on wider African writing, as well as international literature. In short, a saturation of the arts.