|Yves Saint Laurent / One of the greatest names|
in couture fashion history.
In this stunning exhibition showcasing highlights from the legendary couture designer's 44-year career, YSL's fashion featured loads of color and alchemy – and some gender-bending styles, too – and I found it to be plenty of enjoyable, escapist fun. It's no wonder that in 1985 the fashion historian Caroline Rennolds Milbank wrote of YSL: "The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years, Yves Saint Laurent can be credited with both spurring the couture's rise from its sixties ashes and with finally rendering ready-to-wear reputable." Indeed, YSL adapted his style to accommodate changes in fashion.
|Love Me Forever /|
Multicolored silk velvet
coat with appliqué.
Throughout, there were daytime ensembles and dresses and evening ensembles and gowns. YSL dabbled in African art, Mondrian and Pop art, and a coat worn by Catherine Deneuve in Luis Buñuel's 1967 movie Belle de jour was displayed.
|Cocktail dresses / Homage to Pop Art from Autumn-Winter 1966|
haute couture collection.
Through a variety of photographs, drawings and production documents, exhibition-goers were treated to a rare behind-the-scenes look into YSL's creative process of his couture fashion house as well as his private life.
|Individual shapes as wearable art /|
This cocktail dress from Autumn-Winter 1965
was an homage to Piet Mondrian.
As I walked through the exhibition – where taking non-flash photographs were encouraged! – it became evident to me that, to paraphrase the famous Henry Miller quote, YSL developed an interest in a life of fashion as he saw it, as well as in people. He realized the world was so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people.
Note: The multifaceted exhibition was organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris. It was curated by Florence Müller, guest curator for the exhibition, and the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art, Curator of Fashion at the Denver Art Museum in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM's Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture.
Fashion photos: By Michael Dickens © 2017.