Friday, June 1, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective

Paris. Madrid. Denver.

Yves Saint Laurent, Long evening dress, “Paris” haute couture collection, Fall–Winter 1983. Black velvet sheath dress, “Paris rose” satin bow. © Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/Photo A. Guirkinger.

"A sweeping retrospective of the designer’s 40 years of creativity, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective features a stunning selection of 200 haute couture garments along with numerous photographs, drawings, and films that illustrate the development of Saint Laurent’s style and the historical foundations of his work. Organized thematically, the presentation melds design and art to explore the full arc of Saint Laurent’s career, from his first days at Dior in 1958 through the splendor of his evening dresses from 2002. The Denver Art Museum will be the only United States venue for the exhibition."
As a lover of fashion, I was so thrilled that the YSL exhibit was coming to Denver...talked to other fashion gals..set a date...and bought our tickets!
Of course, I had heard of Yves Saint Laurent...who hasn't!?! As we entered the exhibit, I was at first thinking that the garments were...well nice...but as I roamed through the exquisitely displayed pieces, I soon realized the genius of this man...the clean lines, the detailed precision in his workmanship. His true love of fitting his garments on live models in lieu of dress forms for the ease and grace of movement of the fabric and of the woman.
Yves Saint Laurent, Long evening ensemble, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1976. Emerald and sable velvet bolero; peacock blue-and-gold chiffon; Prussian blue Ottoman skirt. © Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

 After the great success of the le smoking tuxedo a year earlier, the appearance of a pant suit opening the Yves Saint Laurent 1967 Spring-Summer runway show presented the notion of the menswear inspired piece to be worn both day and night. 

Yves Saint Laurent, Short cocktail dress, Tribute to Tom Wesselmann, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1966. Purple-and-black wool jersey, encrusted “face” motif. ©Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

 Yves Saint Laurent, Short evening coat, haute couture collection, Spring-Summer 1971. Green fox fur. ©Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

All though Monsieur Laurent did not travel much outside of Paris and his second home in Morocco, he found inspiration in other cultures.

 
Russia: Yves Saint Laurent, Long evening ensemble, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1976. Emerald and sable velvet bolero; peacock blue-and-gold chiffon; Prussian blue Ottoman skirt. © Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

Spain:  Yves Saint Laurent, Torero ensemble, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1979. Pink gazar cape; gold and pink lamé bolero and knickerbockers; bright pink satin and taffeta blouse. ©Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

Monsieur Laurent also found inspiration from the great painters comparing the use of paint to the use of fabric. 
 Yves Saint Laurent, Long evening dress, inspired by Henri Matisse, haute couture collection, Fall–Winter 1980. Black velvet and moiré faille, multicolored satin appliqué leaves. © Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/Photo A. Guirkinger.

YSL’s famous Mondrian shift dress and Short evening ensemble, Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, haute couture collection, Spring-Summer 1988. Jacket embroidered with sequins and pearls; green crepe blouse; purple crepe skirt. ©Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

Other interest!
The amazing hallway of floor-to-ceiling fabric swatches and their resulting dresses. Photo by Erica Nikolaidis.
 An intricate re-creation of YSL’s workspace layered with artful curios and inspiration boards. A film clip projected on an adjoining wall covers YSL’s early years at Christian Dior. Photo by Erica Nikolaidis.

As you leave this last room takes your breath away...these tux's and all the beautiful ballgowns!
The final room with 28 foot ceilings covered with Le Smoking Tuxedo Jackets. Photo AP

 Fabrics, Sketch, Dressforms and Dress-Up...with Kathy and Ellen!
so...why not?!? 
As we were waiting for the shuttle my dear friend asked me if I got loads of ideas...thinking about it for a moment my reply was that I got a feeling...his feeling for the love of fabric and the gentleness of his spirit that flowed through each of his pieces.
 Thank you YSL for all your talent, 
inspiration, and gentle love of fabric! 

photo FranceAmerique.com
 Yves Saint Laurent, who reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women dressed, died Sunday evening June 1, 2008. He was 71.














1 comment:

  1. Magnifique! Once again, my fabulous friend, you have put together a blog post that is simply stunning. I had so much fun with you and Ellen at the exhibit. Dressing up was a blast and you took some great photos! Well done. Merci Monsieur Laurent and Madame Molen for your inspiration.

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