Yves Saint Laurent is arguably the greatest fashion designer of this century. World renowned since the age of twenty-one, when he shot to fame as the savior of Christian Dior, he has changed the way that women dress with a series of innovations - from trouser suits and leather boots to peasant shawls and safari jackets - now regarded as classics. Raised in colonial Algeria, Saint Laurent was taken on by Dior as an assistant while studying in Paris as a teenager. Hailed as a hero in France for saving the company after Dior's death, his world collapsed when he was conscripted into the French army. His lover, Pierre Berge, rescued him and set him up in his own couture house. Thanks to Saint Laurent's genius and Berge's business acumen, their company dominated fashion throughout the 1960 and '70s, making them fabulously wealthy. But the pressures of fame and the commercial constraints of fashion took a toll on Saint Laurent. The charismatic young man who partied with Rudolf Nureyev and Andy Warhol fell prey to addiction and depression, retreating from the world to live as a recluse, while Pierre Berge became a force in the French arts and in politics. As Saint Laurent withdrew, his financial affairs came under scrutiny, culminating in the political storm over the sale of his empire in 1993 to a state-controlled company.