Yves Saint Laurent exhibit knocks socks off


After Georgia, I came home for a few more days of relaxing before getting back to the grind. A visit to the Denver Art Museum, of which I’m now a member, was in order. The YSL Retrospective was superb, inspiring and thoroughly stimulating of multiple senses. I wish photography was allowed in the exhibit, but I wouldn’t have done the pieces justice.

Saint Laurent’s perception of the female form and what clothes mean (nothing without a body) will continue to pique my interest of design for a long time to come. Prior to the exhibit, I knew of the designer, the fashion house and some basic history of his designs – women pant suits are a thing because of this man. All of DC and the female working class would look different had Saint Laurent not created the risqué for the period (seemingly demure today) outfits of his time.

My favorites pieces within the exhibit were from the late 1970s Spain-inspired collections, the 2002 chiffon evening dresses in the room of color swatches (also my favorite albeit simple museum exhibit that I’ve ever seen) and… Oh to pick just a few! There was a 1969 wool jersey jumpsuit in burgundy that evoked my emotional perceptions of an era I think I would’ve loved. I wanted a bit more information on the canvas and leather purse in the Catherine Deneuve closet, but the show was about the clothes.

Fabulous details and precision seams all drilled into my mind the designers perfectionism, vision and belief in the women for whom he designed. His desire to provide ready-to-wear when nobody thought beyond haute couture, his belief that the street was where fashion really should live — I wish I could see this side of every design house. I like art, I love design, but mostly I adore function. In most of YSL’s designs I saw function paired with form to create art. Easy to understand and enjoy, this art is a must see if possible.

Have you ever been to a museum exhibit that entirely rearranged your perceptions of an industry?


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