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It is not long that I was introduced to Pink Floyd but since then there hasn’t been a day when I have not played Pink Floyd on my laptop. Listening to David Gilmour’s team is a part of my daily routine now, and it left a patch of sadness in me when I read that Pink Floyd’s keyboardist and co-founder Richard Wright, age 65 , died on 15th September, 2008 from cancer.

 

Wright, a London native, met bassist Roger Waters and drummer Nick Mason while at Regent Street School of Architecture, joining their band, which went under names such as the Meggadeaths and Sigma 6. The three musicians formed the Pink Floyd Show with Syd Barrett in 1965, evolving from a pop and R&B cover band into an improvisational, psychedelic outfit. Wright contributed to an easy Jazz piano style to the band, and much a part of the minimalistic style of the band’s arrangements as anyone.

Though not as prolific a songwriter as his bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour, he wrote significant parts of the music for classic albums such as Meddle, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, as well as for Pink Floyd’s final studio album The Division Bell. My personal favourites as Wright’s greatest compositions are ‘Great Gig in the Sky’ and ‘Us and Them’.  As a band, their 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon remains as their masterpiece, which stayed in the US top 200 for 15 years.

But the band’s relationships deteriorated after the 1979 album, The Wall, and Waters had threatened to withhold the album if Wright refused to quit. After a lengthy legal battle with Waters, Wright joined Gilmour and Mason. The group recorded two Pink Floyd albums and played on more than 100 shows on a Division Bell Tour in 1994, making it the most lucrative tour in the rock history at that time.

Wright also worked on Gilmour’s solo projects, most recently playing on the 2006 album “On an Island” and the world tour and there were continuous speculations about group reforming to tour again but now with Wright’s passing I guess that remains a dream.

As a musician Richard would be missed but his songs will always ‘Echo’ in our ears and would remind us of his great work and contribution to the Rock music.

This video is one of my personal favourites from the band, and one of the greatest contirbutions by Wright- The Great Gig in the Sky.

“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” Yves Saint Laurent

Though I have not been a fashion buff myself but I have always taken keen interest in all forms of creativity starting from calligraphy, graffiti, fashion, paintings, music, and the list goes on. Creativity transcends social classes, for it just a new idea, a new energy and a new way of looking at things. One such man from the stream of creatives was Yves Saint Laurent, who reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women dressed. He created instant classics from the first YSL tuxedo, his trim pantsuits to see-through blouses, safari jackets, and glamorous gowns. His designs were so quickly plagiarized that he once said ‘ My only regret is that I did not invent the jeans’.

Saint Laurent was born Aug. 1, 1936, in Oran, Algeria, where his father was a shipping executive. He first emerged as a promising designer at the age of 17, winning first prize in a contest sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat for a cocktail dress design.

A year later, in 1954, he enrolled at the Chambre Syndicale school of haute couture, but his student life lasted only three months. He was introduced to Christian Dior, and Dior was so impressed with Saint Laurent’s talent that he hired him on the spot.

When Dior died suddenly in 1957, Saint Laurent was named head of the House of Dior at the age of 21. The next year, his first solo collection for Dior – the “trapeze” line – launched Saint Laurent’s stardom. The trapeze dress – with its narrow shoulders and wide, swinging skirt – was a hit, and a breath of fresh air after years of constructed clothing, tight waists and girdles.

He was the one who took over France’s most celebrated couture house at the age of 21 ,and did it astonishingly well. Bouts of depression marked his career. Pierre Bergé, the designer’s long-time business partner and former romantic partner, was quoted as saying that Saint Laurent was born with a nervous breakdown.

When the designer announced his retirement in 2002 at age 65 and the closure of the Paris-based haute couture house he had founded 40 years earlier, it was mourned in the fashion world as the end of an era. His ready-to-wear label, Rive Gauche, sold to Gucci in 1999, still has boutiques around the world.

Saint Laurent reinvented his own classics—the safari jacket, le smoking, leopard prints—countless times, reversing public opinion that clothes needed to change drastically twice a year, and instead establishing himself as a designer both adaptable to change and highly capable of engendering it.

He died on June 1, 2008 from the effects of brain cancer, at his residence in Paris. According to The New York Times, a few days before he died, Saint Laurent and Bergé were joined in a same-sex civil union known as a “civil pact of solidarity” in France.

YSL’s ashes were scattered in Marrakech Morocco in a botanical garden that he often visited to find influence and refuge. His partner Bergé said during the funeral service: “But I also know that I will never forget what I owe you, and that one day I will join you under the Moroccan palms.”

Please take out some time to watch this video as a tribute to the man who revolutionized the fashion world. May his soul rest in peace!

 

You can read more about him here:

 

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