60 years ago, Yves Saint Laurent created his debut collection for the couture house he and his partner, the businessman Pierre Bergéand, founded together. And ever since then, they changed the world of fashion forever.
Raoul Dufy - La Fée Electricité, 1937 - Ph. Pierre Antoine
The collection of Yves Saint Laurent is taking over six of the most established museums in Paris to celebrate the great fashion changemaker.
It was January 29th 1962 – Paris – when all the important people in the fashion industry in France gathered at 30 bis rue Spontini to watch Yves Saint Laurent presenting his first-ever collection. Just at the age of 26, he became known as part of the greatest fashion designers of the 20th century. Over the years, the designer became a prominent figure in France and this can be seen in some of his work. He shares a deep bond with French art, literature and museum collections.
Portrait de Yves Saint Laurent, 1971 - Ph. Jeanloup Sieff
60th Anniversary Of The Designer
This year marks the 60th anniversary of this special moment in the history of fashion and the Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent decided to have a proper celebration for it.
“I thought it would be impossible to get so many museums to agree to our idea, but they were all very interested and hugely enthusiastic from the beginning. It is the first time they have all worked together on one project”, says Mouna Mekouar, the curator of the event.
Yves Saint Laurent - Robe Hommage à Piet Mondrian, Autumn/Winter 1965
Composition en rouge bleu et blanc II, 1937 - Piet Mondrian
The Centre Pompidou, The Musée d'Orsay, the Louvre and three other museums in Paris decided to honour the french designer and put his garments on display as part of their permanent exhibition. All museums taking part in paying tribute to the designer decided to simultaneously open the doors to the public. It was the date when 26-year-old Yves Saint Laurent presented his first collection in 1962: 29th of January. Other exhibitions are also taking place at the Picasso Museum*, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum and will be available till the 15th of May.
Yves Saint Laurent - Veste Hommage à Pablo Picasso, Autumn/Winter 1979
Yves Saint Laurent - Veste Hommage à ma maison, Spring/Summer 1990
The interesting part of the exhibitions is that every museum presents and explores different moments in Laurent's life as a designer. The Musée d’Orsay showcases his love of Marcel Proust, the Louvre compares the lavish decorative arts in the Galerie d’Apollon with his garments and presents the why they inspired the designer. The avant-garde movement linked to one of his collections is portrayed in the Pompidou. While the art museums display his collections, the Museum of Fashion presents the sketches that resulted in the garments. Every single event will combine Saint Laurent’s pieces along with those of famous artists such as Mondrian, Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard and Dufy.
Galerie d'Apollon, Musée du Louvre - Ph. Antoine Mongodin
“Saint Laurent was very much inspired by art and this shows the links and dialogue between his work and the museum exhibits. We didn’t want to put the clothes in a room, we wanted them there among the permanent collections. This way the visitors will rediscover those collections at the same time as paying homage to Yves Saint Laurent. It’s like a cultural archipelago” continued Mekouar.
Yves Saint Laurent - Ensemble inspiré de Pierre Bonnard, Spring/Summer 2001
Yves Saint Laurent - Toile dune cape Hommage à George Braque, Spring/Summer 1988
Yves Saint Laurent, the genius with a remarkable vision, revolutionised women’s fashion and shifted the industry into a new and contemporary direction. Providing modern women with an appealing mix of power and femininity, he permanently transformed their wardrobes and he keeps doing so.
Yves Saint Laurent - Cœur (1962) - Ph. Nicolas Mathéus
“I tried to show that fashion is an art. I created for my era and I tried to foresee what tomorrow would be.” – Yves Saint Laurent
*The exhibition at the Picasso Museum will end exceptionally on 15th April.
Photo courtesy of Claudine Colin Communication