Paloma Picasso (born Anne Paloma Ruiz-Picasso y Gilot in Paris on 19 April 1949) is the youngest daughter of Pablo Picasso and painter and writer Françoise Gilot. Paloma’s older brother is Claude Picasso (born 1947). .
‘My parents always taught me that I have to be my own person. At the same time when you have such parents and such a name you don’t want people to associate the two. When I got to be 14 or 15 it started making me feel very nervous. For a number of years I wouldn’t touch a pencil for anything other than writing, I was so afraid I might become an artist.’
Childhood photographs Paloma Picasso & Family
Françoise Gilot & Pablo Picasso Françoise Gilot & Pablo Picasso, ph.Robert Doisneau Paloma, Pablo & Claude Picasso Claude, Pablo, Fran;coise & Paloma, 1953 Paloma, Claude & Pablo, 1956 Pablo & Paloma Picasso
The Young Picasso’s (Paloma & Claude) by Richard Avedon, 1966
And then she became the IT girl…
Paloma Picasso had never had the luxury of escaping notice. Carrying the name of one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century was no small burden for a young girl coming of age. “I was very shy and having the name meant that I could never just go and be myself,” she once said. “I decided to start dressing up in a way to shift the attention from the person I was to what I was wearing. It became like a shield.”
Paloma Sphynx—her mother’s nickname for her—became the coolly confident IT girl who held her own at the center of the French art, theater, and fashion worlds. “Her dresses were copied, choices followed, appearance imitated”. Among her most ardent admirers were Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. (That she managed to straddle the divide between the warring superstars was a coup of considerable grace in and of itself—but, after all, Paloma was named after the dove her father drew for the 1949 World Peace Conference.) On her wedding day, she wore Saint Laurent’s white Spencer jacket, ruffled red silk blouse, and red gauntlet gloves. For the candlelit banquet that followed at Lagerfeld’s eighteenth-century salon, she slipped into his heart-shaped dress of scarlet satin; later, revelers headed to Le Palace to watch female wrestlers tussle to the strains of Carmen in a ring decorated like a giant wedding cake. Filled with glee and goodwill,Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent forgot their feud and danced the flamenco together.
Paloma Picasso, in YSL, and Rafael Lopez-Sanchez wed in 1978 Karl Lagerfeld, Paloma & husband Rafael Lopez-Sanchez Paloma & Rafael
Paloma Picasso & Yves Saint Laurent Paloma Picasso & Andy Warhol, ph. Jean Paul Goude Paloma Picasso, ph. Helmut Newton Paloma wearing YSL & her own jewelry .
Beyond her status as a seventies fashion fascination, Picasso became an accomplished designer of jewelry and accessories. She began by creating costumes for avant-garde theatrical productions, stringing necklaces with rhinestones plucked from Folies Bergère bikinis. Soon, her sculpted wings and shooting stars—and other bijoux hand-soldered in her Paris loft—were being commissioned by Yves Saint Laurent as house exclusives.
The Scandal Collection
Yves was very inspired by Paloma Picasso, who liked to dress from flea markets. In the 1970s young Parisian’s were reviving the fashions worn by their mothers, wearing turbans and picking up forties clothes in flea markets. Seventies Chic. At the time, people weren’t at all used to seeing vintage.
Yves always cited “the fashion on the street” as his greatest influence; he was quick to tune in to the trends of the time and give them an aristocratic allure. “From the end of the war through the ’60s, not much changed in the world of high fashion,” said Serge Carrera (an employee of YSL) in France magazine, “then with one collection, Yves Saint Laurent upended everything and made fashion fresh by borrowing elements from the past and mixing turbans with prints. All of a sudden, fashion moved toward the realm of spectacle.”
But a couturier was supposed to invent something new and for the French, these silhouettes evoke the Occupation as well as the gay camp aesthetic of Warhol’s drag queens and the gay liberation movement. The press was outraged. Yves openly dismissed the critics as “narrow-minded and reactionary, petty people paralysed by taboos” and denigrated couture as “a museum” that was “bogged down in a boring tradition of so-called good taste and refinement.”
Paloma Picasso, ph.Mario Sorrenti Vogue Paris Mars 2009