Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. Arthur Schopenhauer
Moi attended the press preview for Yves Saint Laurent – The Perfection of Style at Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Here are the details:
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style
Tue Oct 11 2016 – Sun Jan 8 2017
Seattle Art Museum
Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries
“I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style.”
–Yves Saint Laurent
The Seattle Art Museum presents Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, showcasing highlights from the legendary designer’s 44-year career. Drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition features new acquisitions by the Foundation that have never been shown publicly before.
With a selection of 100 haute couture garments, SAINT LAURENT rive gauche clothing and accessories, photographs, drawings, films and other multimedia elements from the Foundation’s vast archive, the exhibition creates a visually rich environment for visitors to witness the development of Saint Laurent’s style and recurring themes throughout the designer’s career. The multifaceted exhibition is curated by independent Parisian curator and fashion expert Florence Müller in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture.
Visitors will observe Saint Laurent’s immersive working process from his first sketch and fabric selection to the various stages of production and fitting before the final garment was realized. Beginning in 1953 with the Paper Doll Couture House that he created when he was a teenager, the exhibition is a journey from his first days at Dior in 1958, through his groundbreaking designs in the 1960s and 70s and the splendor of his final runway collection in 2002.
The exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris
- Monday 10 am – 5pm
- Closed Tuesday
- Wednesday 10am – 5pm
- Thursdays 10am – 9pm
- Friday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
- $24.95 Adult
- $22.95 Senior (62+), Military (with ID)
- $14.95 Student (with ID), Teen (13 – 17)
- FREE for children (12 and under)
- FREE for SAM Members
Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style [Book]
Author: Florence Müller
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated
Publication Date: 2016
Here is the site: http://ysl.site.seattleartmuseum.org/
This is how SAM described the exhibit in the press release:
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The exhibition guides viewers on a path tracing the trajectory of Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career. Divided into eight thematic sections, it features 110 Ensembles illustrative of his tremendous achievements and the sources of his design inspiration.
The exhibition begins with Saint Laurent’s “Paper Doll Couture House,” shown For the first time in the United States. The paper dolls and corresponding wardrobes and accessories were created by the designer as a teenager on the precipice of a lifetime of fame and success.
Ensembles early in the exhibition focus on Saint Laurent’s formative years at the House of Dior, including an example of a short evening dress from his successful debut Trapeze collection (1958). Later ensembles from Saint Laurent’s own couture house spotlight innovations that redefined women’s
fashion: the peacoat (1962), the tuxedo (1966), the “First” pantsuit (1967), the safari jacket (1968).
Visitors will also see how Saint Laurent was inspired by art. The exhibition includes one of his famous dresses that pays homage to Piet Mondrian (1965) and dresses inspired by Pop art (1966). Also on view is an evening ensemble comprising a raffia coat and a silk dress embroidered with wooden beads
(1967) loosely based on African art. In addition to ensembles fully accessorized in the “total look” favored by Saint Laurent, numerous photographs, drawings, and production documents offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative workings of the fashion house and the private life of the couturier. Collection boards from 1962 to 2002—every Saint Laurent haute couture show—feature sketches and swatches that retrace 40 years of the maison de couture’s fascinating history. A room of muslins, the hand-sewn forms ateliers use to create a first draft of couture garments, offer a unique look into how the garments were constructed.
The exhibition concludes in an explosion of color with a procession of evening wear ranging from black silk (1977) to blue-green chiffon (1985) to red silk crepe (1985) gowns to a white damask wedding gown (1995)—the traditional ending to an Yves Saint Laurent couture show.
The multifaceted exhibition is curated by Florence Müller, guest curator and Denver Art Museum’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and curator of fashion in collaboration with Chiyo Ishikawa, SAM’s Deputy Director of Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture…..
After SAM, the exhibition will travel to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from
May 6–August 27, 2017….
British Vogue has a concise biography.
Jo Craven wrote about Saint Laurent in British Vogue:
Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy as a king of fashion designers, who created a masterpiece of a brand, keeps growing.
- Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 and grew up in Oran, Algeria
- At 17, he left for Paris where he showed his drawings to Michelde Brunhoff – director of French Vogue – who publishedseveral of them immediately
- Following a stint at fashion school, Yves Saint Laurent was introduced to Christian Dior where he worked until Dior’s death in 1957
- After taking over as art director for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent launched his first collection for the company, the Ligne Trapéze, that year. It was a resounding success and won him a Neiman Marcus Oscar
- In 1962, after completing National Service, Yves Saint Laurent set up his own fashion house with Pierre Bergé
- In 1966, he introduced le smoking – his legendary smoking suit. His other inventions include the reefer jacket (1962), the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968)
- In October 1998 Yves Saint Laurent showed his last ready-to-wear collection for the Rive Gauche label he had founded more than 30 years before. He carried on his haute couture until 2002
- After a brief stint with Alber Elbaz as designer, in 1999 Tom Ford arrived to take control at the house. The brand entered the stratosphere where it remains today, covering perfume and menswear as well as womenswear.
- At his last show, in 2002, a tearful Yves Saint Laurent tookhis final bow as his long-time muse, Catherine Deneuve, sang MaPlus Belle Histoire d’Amour. Stefano Pilati, who replaced TomFord in 2005, continues Yves Saint Laurent’s message that “dressingis a way of life”.
- Yves Saint Laurent died after a long period of ill health at his home in Paris on June 1, 2008. He was 71.
SAM’s exhibit of 110 fashion exhibits is organized around the following themes as described in the Gallery Guide:
The Little Prince of Fashion
The Beatnik Couturier
The Celebrity Couturier
A Living Legend
Never Too Much
A Modular Wardrobe
The Alchemy of Style
The Pop Movement
Mondrian and Pop Art
From Darkness to an Explosion of Color
Claire Marie Healy wrote about Bowes Museum, County Durham and their exhibit of Saint Laurent:
Before the exhibition opens this weekend, here’s just five reasons why a dip into the YSL archives is more relevant than ever.
HIS TAKE ON ANDROGYNY STARTED A REVOLUTION
When Saint Laurent debuted Le Smoking in 1966 – a menswear-inspired tuxedo, tailored for women – it became an instant classic for women who wanted to appear equal parts glamorous and strong. Entering the cultural consciousness at a time when many second-wave feminists avoided discussing fashion directly, it radicalised eveningwear and irrevocably transformed the way women dressed. Made iconic by famous devotees like Nan Kempner, Betty Catroux and Bianca Jagger, the look told the world that if women are ever going to wear the trousers, they should be able to wear them to their wedding day and Studio 54 alike.
HE MADE ART AND FASHION COLLIDE
While mining one another’s inspirations is now par for the course in the fashion and contemporary art worlds, Saint Laurent was among the first to tap the gallery for the runway. Sending out clothing inspired by Andy Warhol, Van Gogh and Georges Braque in the ’60s and ’70s, his 1965 Mondrian collection is the most enduring collaboration: containing six shift dresses in homage to Piet Mondrian, the colourful designs punctuated the modernist spirit of an entire generation.
HE FREED THE NIPPLE BEFORE INSTAGRAM WAS A THING
The on-going fight to #freethenipple on present-day social media reveals the trailblazing nature of Saint Laurent’s taste for sheer throughout his design career. Rebelling in a different way in the era of the miniskirt, Saint Laurent’s models would always go braless under sheer organza blouses and couture gowns with a feathered trim. And much like today’s campaign, the decision was less about pleasing the onlooker, and more about asserting equality between the sexes.
HE CHAMPIONED DIVERSITY IN FASHION
In a fashion industry where white-washing is still an issue, it’s worth revisiting the designer who went against the grain with his focus on diverse casting in the ’60s and ’70s. Saint Laurent made major strides in diversity that are still being felt today, tapping black models like Iman, Rebecca Ayoko and Katoucha Niane for his muses over the years. Queen Naomi herself – who just this week spoke out against industry racism – even credited the designer with giving her her first Vogue cover. As she said on news of his death in 2008, “He has done so much for people of colour.”
HE STARRED IN HIS OWN CAMPAIGNS
Today, you’re increasingly likely to see a designer star in his or her own campaign – or, in the case of Donatella for Givenchy, another label’s campaign altogether. But several decades before Marc Jacobs’ beefed up body illustrated the benefits of nude self-promotion, Yves Saint Laurent’s (slightly less oiled) physique broke new ground in fragrance advertising in 1971. Photographed by Jeanloup Sieff, the black and white image for YSL Pour Homme was hardly published anywhere at the time – though it would come to resonate with the gay community in later years. http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/25429/1/how-yves-saint-laurent-changed-fashion
When Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé began saving pieces from each collection, they obviously believed the work of Saint Laurent was important and so artistic and creative that the pieces could be considered art. Zandra Rhodes and the director of the Design Museum, Alice Rawsthorn debated in the Guardian article, Is fashion a true art form? https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2003/jul/13/art.artsfeatures1 Suzy Menkes also address the question in the New York Times article, Gone Global: Fashion as Art? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/fashion/is-fashion-really-museum-art.html Moi is not prepared to say whether fashion is art. Saint Laurent’s clothes are certainly beautiful at times, creative, and slightly ahead of the culture, but not so far ahead as to not be commercially viable. One notices that many designers have been influenced by his line and vision, Rachel Roy comes to minds. Let intellectuals debate the art issue. What SAM has done is told the story of a genius and how that genius evolved and grew using fashion to express his creativity and demons.
Dr. Wilda gives a definite thumbs up, you will be awed and challenged.
The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent’s Revolutionary Rise http://www.npr.org/2014/06/24/323552220/the-turbulent-love-story-behind-yves-saint-laurents-revolutionary-rise
Yves Saint Laurent, Giant of Couture, Dies at 71 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/02/fashion/02laurent.html
Which Yves Saint Laurent Biopic Should You Watch? http://fashionista.com/2015/05/which-yves-saint-laurent-biopic-is-better
Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent http://www.fondation-pb-ysl.net/en/Accueil-825.html
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