A prize-winning design for a cocktail dress caught the eye of the Dior fashion house in 1954 and the teenage Yves Saint Laurent's career in Paris was assured.
He had come to Paris from French Algeria, the son of a wealthy businessman. At Dior, he rose to become chief designer within three years, taking over from Christian Dior after his sudden death.
His dresses caught the world's imagination. Here a model wears an African-style creation in New York, 1967.
Yves Saint Laurent designed clothes that reflected women's changing role in society.
The 1970s saw his empire grow as he launched a perfume, Rive Gauche, in 1971 followed up by Opium in 1977.
The 1980s saw the designer still in his element. In 1985, he was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur.
He was fascinated with black, as here in this evening dress with a muslin veil - one of the highlights of the spring/summer 2000 collection.
Here, he is seen kissing the hand of Claudia Schiffer in this glamorous dress.
By the new millennium he was approaching retirement. Here he blows a kiss at his Fall Winter 2000-2001 Haute Couture show.
The year 2002 saw his final show. Deneuve was on hand again to see off the man who said "To be beautiful, all a woman needs is a black pullover and a black skirt and to be arm in arm with a man she loves."
Former top model Carla Bruni is seen here with an Yves Saint Laurent dress during his final show.