Everything Gourmet

Yves Saint Laurent: The Tribute

Portrait de Yves Saint Laurent, 1971. At the Centre PompidouCredit: ©Estate of Jeanloup Sieff©Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI,Dist.RMN-Grand Palais/image Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI

Paris, France — Six of the most prestigious museums in Paris have opened their doors to a very exciting tribute, a tribute to the great fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent to mark the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Maison Yves Saint Laurent on December 4th, 1961. The show underscores Yves Saint Laurent’s extraordinary creative talent.

Yves Saint Laurent, Cœur (Heart), conceived in 1962 and re-released in 1979 (maison Scemama). Smoked grey rhinestones, red crystal cabochon, white beads and molten glass. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris ©Yves Saint Laurent @Nicolas Mathéus

« Sixty years ago, a 26-years-old Yves Saint Laurent and 32-year-old Pierre Bergé launched into a journey that would establish Yves Saint Laurent as one of the most inventive and influential fashion designers of the second half of the 20th century, » commented Madison Cox, the president of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent and the curator of the exhibition.

Left: Yves Saint Laurent, dress paying tribute to Piet Mondrian from the Autumn-Winter 1965 collection. Wool jersey in ecru incrusted with black, red, yellow and blue. At the Centre Pompidou. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris ©Yves Saint Laurent @Nicolas Mathéus. Right: Piet Mondrian, Composition in red, blue and white II, 1937. Oil on canvas. At the Centre Pompidou. Public Domain. Paris, Centre Pompidou – Musée national d’art moderne Centre de création industriellePhoto ©Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Jacques Faujour

The exhibition Yves Saint Laurent aux Musées (Yves Saint Laurent in the Museums) offers a journey into the permanent collections of six Parisian museums showcasing the dialogue that Yves Saint Laurent undertook with art and literature, juxtaposing his designs with works of art in the museums. Each pairing was conceived in close collaboration with the various directors and curators of the partner museums.

Left: Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) Le jardin, circa 1937. At the Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris. Localisation : Paris, musée d’Art Moderne Photo ©RMN-Grand Palais/Agence Bulloz. Right: Yves Saint Laurent, ensemble inspired by Pierre Bonnard, Spring-Summer 2001, blouse and skirt in satiny organza. At the Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. ©Yves Saint Laurent @Nicolas Mathéus

The ensemble of the exhibitions have been conceived and made possible by the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. The shows are being played out in the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. The shows opened up on January 29th celebrating the 60th anniversary of Yves Saint Laurent’s first runway show held on January 29, 1962. The exhibitions are running through to May 15th with those at the Louvre and Centre Pompidou until May 16th and at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, where astounding archive materials are also on display, closes on September 18th. The show at the Picasso museum closed in mid-April.

Galerie d’Apollon, musée du Louvre, Paris©2020, Musée du Louvre/Antoine Mongodin

He not only brought fabulous fashion to the runaway and into people’s wardrobes, but art and literature as well. The Fall-Winter 1965 collection remains legendary with a series of dresses paying tribute to Piet Mondrian. He would go on to invoke the works of Serge Poliakoff, Henri Matisse, George Braque, Pierre Bonnard, Fernand Léger, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. Literature was invoked in his gowns for the Proust Ball, opening up the pages to one of the greatest literary works of all time, Marcel Proust’s tremendous Remembrance of Things Past (now translated as In Search of Lost Time). At The Gourmet Gazette, where we have read all seven volumes, we prefer the original translation.

Yves Saint Laurent. Dresses created for the Bal Proust (The Proust Ball),in ivory satin with three-quarter length sleeves, belt and bow in ivory satin, December 1971, with Yves Saint Laurent’s famous tuxedo suits for women. At the Musée d’Orsay. Dress in center, gift of Marie-Hélène de Rothschild. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris©Yves Saint Laurent @Nicolas Mathéus

“Of all the writers, Proust is the one who spoke about women with the most sensitivity and truth. And I’m thinking less about the Proust who described dresses artfully than I am about the one who painted characters,” said Yves Saint Laurent, who started reading Remembrance of Things Past at the age of 18, reading and re-reading the work without ever finishing it, not unlike a lot of people. Proust is represented in the exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay with a tribute to the Proust Ball hosted by the Baron and Baroness Guy de Rothschild in 1971 at the Château de Ferrières. Yves Saint Laurent’s dresses designed for the occasion for the Baroness de Rothschild and Jane Birkin inspired by clothing from the Belle Epoque and representing characters from the novels are on display. These are juxtaposed with the designer’s famous tuxedo suits for women. The show is being held in the museum’s iconic Clock Room and also includes photographs by Cecil Beaton of the women Yves Saint Laurent dressed for the ball as well as his preliminary drawings.

Yves Saint Laurent, Jacket Hommage à ma maison, Spring-Summer 1990. Organza embroidered in gold and rock crystal. At the Louvre. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris©Yves Saint Laurent @Nicolas Mathéus

“Mondrian, of course, who was the first that I dared approach in 1965, and whose rigor could not fail to charm me, but also Matisse, Braque, Picasso, Bonnard and Léger. How could I have resisted Pop Art, which was the expression of my youth?”, Yves Saint Laurent once commented.
Works by Pierre Bonnard and Raoul Dufy along with the designer’s garments are among those on show at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. At the Centre Pompidou Piet Mondrian and Fernand Léger are among the artists showcased side by side with Yves Saint Laurent’s fashions. Meanwhile at the Louvre, the designer’s opulent jackets and a piece of jewelry are on show in the palace’s Galerie Apollon, one of the most prestigious and bejeweled galleries in the museum. The Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent is showcasing the designer’s extensive archives (which include beautiful drawings and sketches) in its exhibition spaces. Each exhibition opens up with an iconic portrait of Yves Saint Laurent including the photographs of Jeanloup Sieff, Irving Penn and Jacques-Henri Lartigue.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

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