Sometimes a woman feels like puttin’ on the Ritz. Whether it’s worn by Marlene Dietrich, Bianca Jagger or Rihanna, a tuxedo suit has the power to ignite a room faster than any little black dress. With its sharp lines, classic appeal and feminine details—a frilly shirt here, a rhinestone bow-tie there—it’s little wonder that fashion houses like Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent and Ermanno Scervino have reimagined this iconic eveningwear look for Spring 2013.
The first haute couture tuxedo suit—a black velvet pantsuit with a matching vest and a white shirt with ruffled cuffs—was designed by Yves Saint Laurent in 1966. Dubbed Le Smoking, this gender-bending look instantly caught fire, and soon afterward the designer launched his ready-to-wear label, Rive Gauche, with more accessibly priced smoking suits. The timing couldn’t have been better, since the second wave of the women’s emancipation movement marched into the history books that same decade. Power dressing after dark was now an exercise in equal opportunity.
When YSL took his final runway bow in 2002, he had played on countless variations of this signature ensemble in his 45-year career. “Fashions come and go, but style is forever,” he once said. May the tuxedo suit always burn bright.
Join the discussion
Neither the author nor FASHION Magazine necessarily agrees with the comments posted here. Editors will not correct spelling or grammar. FASHION Magazine reserves the right to edit or delete comments entirely.
Brand New on Fashion
- How to dress for a wedding: 13 Style Panel Tips for being the best dressed guest this summer
- Cannes 2013 red carpet beauty: The scoop on Aishwarya Rai’s hair, Marion Cotillard’s mascara and more
- Beauty Fix: Say goodbye to stretch marks, the best bronzer for darker skin tones and more answers to your beauty questions
- Cannes 2013: Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Waston, Nicole Kidman and more top our best Cannes red carpet looks
- Bouffant hair tutorial: How to add some Lana Del Rey-approved volume to your look