Over the weekend I went to the Yves Saint Laurent : The Retrospective exhibit- at The Denver Art Museum. I can whole heartedly say that this exhibit is my favorite, not only because I’m such a fashion person, but because I learned SO much and the exhibit was put together so well. Unfortunately, I believe that the exhibit at least as of now is only in Denver, Paris, and Madrid. If it were allowed I would have taken so many pictures and posted them so everyone could at least get a peek.
As you may or may not know, Yves Saint Laurent,at the age of 21was the head designer for Dior. Sadly, he suffered from many boughs of depression and lost his place, from there he decided to build his own fashion empire(inspiring). He became such a fashion icon that he has been credited for introducing the tuxedo suit to women and revolutionizing fashion.
One of the first displays in the exhibit was of his desk. I was so fascinated by this display I think I was there for like 15 min, haha. I loved looking at all the sketches and the way color was played with. Although, for a long time Yves Saint Laurent wouldn’t play with color- he said he was afraid of color. It wasn’t until he went to Morocco that color began to inspire him – in a documentary (played at the exhibit) he said that “he was afraid of color, and then I went to Morocco and was inspired by all the colors”. He was also inspired by places like:China, Spain, and India,Yves Saint Laurent said ” at night, I want women to be like birds of paradise”. This particular collection was so intricate the way he played with the fabrics and colors, I loved it!
He has so many amazing collections, but he wasn’t always applauded for them. One of his earlier collections “The Scandalous Collection” was criticized for being taken from the 20’s and too scandalous for women. During this time, he also created a cartoon/comic ( news to me) titled, Lulu Villeneuve “Nasty Lulu”. I looked for pictures of his comic- its quite funny, but nothing came up :(. Another infamous collection was “Le Smoking” where he created the tuxedo dress and the tuxedo jumpsuit, there were so many tuxedos in this display. I can’t believe how many tuxedo variations he created, crazy! My favorite dress in the entire exhibit was actually a wedding dress (1988), it’s a white tulle dress with white cotton piqué appliqué “doves”, this dress was absolutely gorgeous! Another tidbit I learned about him in the final display, is that he had a heart shape necklace/pendant that was covered in diamonds,crystals, and pearls that he would have the model wearing his favorite design in the collection wear – A Heart For His Favorite Design. There was so much I learned in this exhibit that I could go on and on! I definitely have to go again, and buy the documentary DVD on Yves Saint Laurent next time!
Okay, okay, so I thought I was done, but … I guess not. In the part of the documentary I saw he said that his greatest trait was sensitivity and his worst was shyness (interesting). Also, he didn’t premeditate his designs he just put pencil to paper and the designs would just come. He never worked On wooden models (only women) and he believed heavily in what , Nietzsche called “Aesthetic Ghosts.” He felt he disliked fashion but loved style and he had a true eye for detail.