Political and fashion dignitaries from all of the world gathered yesterday to say their final farewells to designer Yves Saint Laurent, who died of brain cancer last Sunday. Mourners attended the funeral service in Paris, with hundreds of onlookers swarming behind barriers outside the Eglise Saint-Roch. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, joined by his wife model Carla Bruni, decorated YSL's coffin in the national flag.

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Applause broke out as his casket was carried into the Saint-Roch church, followed by silence throughout the service.

"These are my last words to you Yves," said his long-time partner Pierre Bergé. "With Coco Chanel, you were the greatest designer of the 20th century, she in the first half, you in the second. On your marble plaque, I have had them engrave, above your name, the words 'French couturier'."

Flowers bloomed in bouquets and wreaths laid at the doorway of the church, with one particular arrangement signed by 'Karl'. "For Yves, a souvenir of our youth," the card read.

Other attendees to salute the ultimate couturier were Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Claudia Schiffer, Valentino, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati, Hubert de Givenchy, and Christian Lacroix.

YSL will be laid to rest at his botanical garden in Marrakech, Morroco. In his magnificent Majorelle Garden, his ashes will be flown in and scattered, just like the legacy that he leaves behind, which shall continue to live on.

Yves Saint Laurent RIP (1st August, 1936 - 1st June, 2008)

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