Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective

Before too much time passes, I want to tell you all about my most recent trip to Denver with a good friend.  The primary purpose of the trip was to see the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.

The exhibit covered Yves Saint Laurent’s work from the end of his time working under Christian Dior in the late 1950s and early 1960s through his final show in 2002.  Throughout his career, his designs pushed the boundaries of women’s fashion – from the military and nautically inspired designs of his early career to the later, extremely colorful work inspired by his visits to Morocco.

We could tell while looking at the vast number of pieces displayed, that there was a perfectionism, meticulousness and attention to detail that may have been unrivaled.  The seams and top stitching details were always in perfect alignment, which is both inspiring and daunting to imagine achieving.

I didn’t think about it before stepping into the first gallery of the exhibit, but considering the fact that I am in the planning stages of a travel wardrobe for a trip to Europe in the fall, the timing of our visit to this particular exhibit was perfect.  I came away with ideas for garments and design details that I hadn’t expected to glean.

For the most part, the exhibit was laid-out chronologically, until the piece de resistance, which was the last gallery.  You entered this room to be confronted by a two walls of mannequins attired in tuxedos from every Yves Saint Laurent collection… Three tiers of mannequins, one after the other!  Astounding!  The tuxedo was one of Yves Saint Laurent’s signature pieces, and every collection included a new interpretation.

Wall of Tuxedos
Photo by A. Guirkinger/© Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris

After trying to absorb every detail of the tuxedo collection, we turned to see a vast array of every color and style of ball gown, with mannequins in various poses on a sweeping red staircase.  Yet another awe-inspiring room!

The final piece was a jeweled heart (“Le Coeur”) that was worn on the runway, by the model wearing Yves Saint Laurent’s favorite piece during each season’s show, to identify the “heart of the collection.”

This was a truly inspiring exhibit of a incredibly vast and complete body of work, and because I felt so inspired, I decided to purchase the rather large volume that includes a catalog of the exhibit.  No buyer’s remorse about the expense, since there were definitely dresses and pantsuits and tuxedos that I want to remember, and what a wonderful opportunity we have living so close to one of the three cities in the world that have an opportunity to host this Retrospective.

The Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective Exhibit is only showing in Paris, Madrid, and Denver, so if you are in the US, and have the opportunity to visit Denver before July 8, 2012, I highly recommend visiting the Denver Art Museum (and be sure to make reservations ahead of time!  😉 )

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~ by katinkaknits on June 12, 2012.

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