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14.11.2018 | Елена Державец

Full immersion

Mariano Fortuny      Christian DiorYves Saint Laurent


"As soon as I blew out the nine candles on my birthday cake, I told the family gathered around the table about my tieIf desired: "My name will be written in capital letters on the Champs-Elysees."

On October 3, 2017, two Yves Saint Laurent museums opened at once in Paris and in Marrakech, where his last years were spent. Two hearts are the two main cities in the creative and personal life of Yves Saint Laurent.


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent

The Paris Museum is located on ave.­­­nu Marceau, 5, where Saint Laurent spent almost thirty years designing his collections from 1974 to 2002. Fifteen years later, this building is open to the public again. Until now, it has served as the headquarters of the Pierre Berger – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, whose goal was to preserve the designer's legacy.

The museum building will feature constantly changing retrospective expositions and temporary thematic exhibitions of the Fund's rich and unique collection of more than 34,000 items and archival materials.

Designer Natalie Crinier and decorator Jacques Grange, long-time employees of the Foundation, designed the exhibition areas to reproduce the original atmosphere of the haute couture house.


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent

The Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum is the first museum dedicated to one of the greatest couturiers of the XX century. Here are his collections inspired by trips to China, Morocco, Spain, Russia, exhibits embodying the exclusive style of the designer: costumes, accessories, sketches, photographs, films. The halls house his famous works, such as the dress "Monde"Rian", African models, ensembles created in homage to theater and ballet.


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent

An original wedding dress from the 1988 collection is presented as a separate exhibit. For his legendary model, Yves Saint Laurent, like the Cubists, deconstructed elements in three-dimensional space. Bird shapes stand out like an animated painting or sculpture in a dress.

A giant compartment is allocated for a collection of jewelry – an integral part of the image  from Yves Saint Laurent. The designer said: "I like it when the dress is simple, but the accessory should be crazy." A special place here is occupied by the "Heart". A luxurious piece of jewelry created in 1962 by the House of Scemama, it served as a mascot during the shows of the collections of haute couture and prêt-à-porter. Yves Saint Laurent himself chose the model and costume on which his favorite brooch should be worn.


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent

Every season, to prepare a new collection, Yves Saint Laurent usually went to Morocco, the country he first discovered in 1966. During the first two weeks of December and June, he created hundreds of sketches there, which, upon returning to Paris, were sent to the atelier, where, step by step, the transformation of pencil strokes into a miracle began.

The beauty of each product depended not only on those who worked directly with the designer. Creating his models, Yves Saint Laurent invariably collaborated with experienced artisans, whose works were intended exclusively for the Yves Saint-Lauren House and were produced in workshops that support long-standing traditions: Goossens jewelry, Lemarie feathers, textiles and appliques.Brossin de Mere, embroidery – Rebe, printed textiles – Abraham, Mesrine, Lesage and Lanel.

The textiles had to match the effect that the couturier demanded. Yves Saint Laurent chose the fabric based on the weaving structure that best suits the desired silhouette. He selected the color and the fabric was decorated with the desired pattern, which was woven, printed, embroidered or applied.


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent

Exploring the history of fashion, in his works Yves Saint Laurent turned antique togas into draped evening dresses. He found inspiration in the silhouettes of the Middle Ages, Renaissance dresses, precious fabrics and robes of the XVII century, demonstrating the wealth and grandeur of the royal court, which aristocrats and courtesans continued to popularize in the XVIII century. The fashion of the XIX century was reflected in the use of crinoline and adapted to simple lightweight materials.

Created with love, endearing, the chamber museum leaves unusually bright feelings. The studio on the top floor with huge windows and mirrored walls pushes space and time apart. Desks filled with a variety of items for the designer's work, sketches, fabrics, photographs and shelves with a huge number of books that Yves Saint Laurent adored. "I made the most beautiful trips through books, staying on the sofa in my own living room."


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent

With his revolutionary views, he liberated women's fashion. Unlike his teacher, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent managed to cultivate more than one generation of fans who idolized his work and remained faithful to him until the last days. He addicted the audience to sophistication, taught them to see female beauty and proportions through the eyes of an artist.Over the years, I realized that the most important thing in a dress is the woman who puts it on. And the women believed him, having gained inner freedom, confidence and strength.


Full immersion. Yves Saint Laurent


Two permanent museums of Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and Marrakech will push the boundaries of understanding his life and work for many, which have not always been accepted unequivocally.


Expert photo.