A Moment With Betty Catroux

In the world of fashion, Betty Catroux is a legendary figure. As one of Yves Saint Laurent‘s closest friends, and strongest inspirations, she has had an indirect influence on the way women all over the world have dressed since the 1960s, continuing to this very day.

At a pre-opening preview of the new Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the de Young, we had the opportunity to chat with Betty, who arrived on Tuesday and will visit the City through Sunday. This is her first extended trip to San Francisco, and she has enjoyed it greatly, raving especially about the de Young (“It’s a beautiful museum!”)

Of her great friend, the late couturier Saint Laurent, she told us, “I’m a very lucky girl, I must say, that he picked me up. Very lucky. I had a fairytale life with him. We had such a beautiful time together, and I’m so happy to celebrate him here.”

When asked why she never designed her own collection, as other fashion “muses” have, she said it’s because she’s not interested in fashion! Can you believe it?

“I’ve dressed the same way practically since I was born. I don’t dress as a woman. I’m not interested in fashion at all,” she said.

“I don’t even know what’s happening in fashion. I’m always the same. I’m in my jeans, my jacket, a t-shirt. Black leather is something I love.”

Yet somehow, despite her total disinterest in fashion, this beautiful woman in a simple black jacket, v-neck sweater and pants, could possibly be one of the chicest people we have ever met.

  • Photo (top): Betty Catroux [by Damion Matthews, sfluxe.net]
  • Photo (bottom): Loulou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent and Betty Catroux, 1978 [Guy Marineau]