The Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective exhibit opened at the Denver Art Museum yesterday and runs until July 8.
I was among a few fortunate enough to have the curator of the exhibit take us on a guided tour last Friday. Pierre Bergé, co-founder (with YSL) of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent to preserve YSL’s work, was there to greet us and say a few words about the exhibition.
The Denver Art Museum will be the only U.S. venue for the exhibit, so if you live in the continental U.S. and love fashion, I strongly recommend making the trip. Showcasing 200 outfits from over 40 years of creativity, it is an exhibit not to be missed.
Arranged thematically, each room of the exhibit takes you to a time or place in YSL’s life. From his use of color, his workshop, his worldly inspirations to the Last Ball (my favorite), you get a marvelous sense of his life and style.
(A portrait of YSL by Andy Warhol hangs in the D.A.M exhibit.)
I was awestruck by the famous Mondrian dress. Every work of art showcases such luxurious attention to detail. Eat lunch before you go, as I’m sure you will want to take your time appreciating the intricacies of each piece.
(The sleeve of a beaded/sequined jacket. This detailing covered the ENTIRE jacket! Can you imagine how heavy that would be?)
The international theme was particularly interesting. Though he did not travel much (he lived for a time in Morocco) YSL was greatly inspired by his imaginings of the costumes of other cultures.
YSL revamped women’s tuxedos every year on the runway after introducing the traditional men’s garb into womenswear in 1966. Black was YSL’s favorite color, as it allowed for the purest silhouette.
(One of my favorite dresses from the show above. As YSL took inspiration from history, he also helped shape the future of fashion.)
For more on YSL, look for Beth Bradley’s Top 10 Iconic Yves Saint Laurent Looks article in the next issue of Sew News (June/July ’12).