Yves Saint Laurent to Celebrate 60th Anniversary With City-Wide Exhibition

Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris. Photography: Nicolas Matheu

Yves Saint Laurent to Celebrate 60th Anniversary With City-Wide Exhibition

Featured Image: Nicolas Matheu

PARIS — Yves Saint Laurent celebrates its 60th anniversary with six of Paris’ most prestigious museums. The city-wide exhibition pays tribute to the Maison’s history. and is on through May 15. The project creates a dialogue between the creations of Saint Laurent and the way he merged his life with the art that he was inspired by. 

Yves Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was born in Algeria on August 1, 1936. In “Chez Pierre Bergé et Yves Saint Laurent,” a republication of a 2005 interview with La collection Yves Saint Laurent Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent described his passion for theater and literature, which would lead to costume design.  


Saint Laurent first moved to Paris after meeting Christian Dior. Then, at 26, he would found his own haute couture house with Pierre Bergé, a businessman, in December 1961. Saint Laurent, inspired by art, revolutionized the ready-to-wear concept and popularized silhouettes such as the Smoking tuxedo. 

The concept references French novelist Marcel Proust, in its depiction of gender fluidity. It is now on display at the Musée d’Orsay. It will feature evening wear created for Baron Guy de Rothschild and Jane Birkin. 

“I believe the work of a courtier is very much like that of an artist. In fact, I have constantly found inspiration in the work of contemporary painters: Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian,” Saint Laurent said.

The Exhibition

The multilocation show encompasses six locations: Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée National Picasso-Paris, and Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. These museums will feature different aspects of his work. 

The Galerie d’Apollon at the Louvre, with its mirrors and a collection of Louis XIV’s gems, displays jackets that celebrate the savoir-faire of France. The foundation president, Mr. Cox, noted that Saint Laurent was an artiste manqué. Finally, he noted that Saint Laurent would have been quite happy with the company his designs keep.

Homage à Ma Maison, a jacket, displayed in the Louvre’s Galerie d’Apollon. Julien Mignot for The New York Times.

The exhibition in the Centre Pompidou approaches his work as that of an artist. Pop art is the main inspiration – as seen in the 500 Polaroids of YSL friends, including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Carla Bruni.

Polaroids on display at Centre Pompidou. Julien Mignot for The New York Times.

Xavier Rey, the museum director of Centre Pompidou noted that the exhibition was special and resonated with the museum. “Not only was Yves Saint Lauren the first to connect couture to the art he loved and collected, but also because the museum was where he chose to bid fashion farewell, in 2002.” 

In January of that year, Yves Saint Laurent said goodbye to fashion with a show that reviewed his career in its entirety. The exhibition will also screen footage from that event. 

Mouna Mekouar, the exhibition’s curator, said, “Saint Laurent was very inspired by art and this shows the connections and dialogue between his works and museum exhibits. We didn’t want to put the clothes in a room, we wanted them to be among the permanent collections. This way, visitors will rediscover these collections while paying homage to Yves Saint Laurent. It’s like a cultural archipelago. Within the scope of the exhibition, a total of 50 Saint Laurent creations and approximately 300 designs will be in the exhibit. In the Saint Laurent exhibition, visitors will be a part of the creative process that lasts from the artist’s raw sketches to the moment the designs are displayed on the hanger.”

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