With the opening of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris on October 1, 2017 Pierre Berge had once again reached another pinnacle of achievement...fashion and haute couture have now been firmly cemented into an artform. The ongoing debate of whether fashion is art has been ended. Carefully balancing form, function, and practicality into his creations, Yves Saint Laurent imbued them with an unprecedented artistic immersion, tipping the scale from fashion designer into fashion artist. By dedicating their headquarters and atelier, where for thirty years Yves focused tirelessly on the development of his artistic expression, a private viewing has been given to us to see how this master worked.
Here in his environs of opulence, decor, crystal chandeliers and gilded gold frames, notebooks filled with his sketches, and trays laden with his bijoux, les accessoires, les tissue and trimmings is where his lifetime of dreams and struggles had been conceived and consumed.
All of the tools which had which contributed heavily to his Haute Couture vision and which had been perfectly crafted with his creative touch are on display. Awaiting us, is an invitation into the studio where Yves conceived and designed some of the most memorable and awe inspiring collections not only of the 20th century but of all time.
An expert draftsman, it's hard to realize his love / hate relationship with his metier and sketching, but on display are his visions of The Gypsies, The Russians and The Chinese, the Van Gogh inspired sunflowers, the Matisse inspired cut-outs, the Picasso infused eveningwear.
Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers Haute Couture 1988
Van Gogh's Sunflowers Haute Couture SS 1988
There are many reasons why the YSL Musée differentiates from other " fashion " museums. The most obvious is that this Musée is the first to consecrate an Haute Couture atelier into a museum in a major international city. We are permitted to focus solely on the originator of the Haute Couture label and visionary of the YSL brand, Yves Saint Laurent. The second is that it is steeped in the culture and bosom of Haute Couture. Here we get to experience, explore and study Yves's creative underpinnings of Haute Couture, revolutionary Pret-a- Porter and his relationship with fashion.
Paying homage to a designer's passion and allowing us to experience their artistic metier in their creative playground is a privilege. Perhaps this is the beginning of popping the cork off of the bottle and allowing other couturiers and designers to be represented in this same jubilant fashion. Yes, Vive le Champagne!
Special thanks to Simon Freshard and Foundation Pierre Berge / all media: Jamie P.