My experience at Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris!

Hi Guys! As I recently posted a 'throwback' pic at my time at Musée Yves Saint Laurent when I visited beautiful Paris wayyyy back in October. The reason behind me recycling this post is in case you're new to my blog, or you'd just like to see the stunning inside of the House of Yves Saint Laurent again.

The museum was the last thing we done in Paris, and we was worried we wouldn't get a chance to visit but we managed to squeeze it in.

Bigger than I expected, the museum is on a small corner in the centre of Paris, not far from the Eiffel Tower. It was said to be housed in where Yves is said to have made the garments himself.

The Museum resembled a big-end Haute Couture shop, with a member of staff outside forming a queue to let people in, wearing a suit, creating a seamless, couture experience. As we entered he also gave us plastic bags for our umbrella's. Tickets were reasonably cheap, mine being €7.00 for being a student and Kavun's being €10.00.

Les Salons Haute Couture

The Haute Couture Salons

The Autumn Winter 1965 collection was shown on August 6th. Although it was partially finished a month before, YSL decided to redesign part of it because he thought it lacked modernity. He drew inspiration from Michel Seuphor's 1956 book, Piet Mondrian, Sa Vie, son æurve, which was given to him by his mother. Twenty-six of the 106 designs were inspired by the works of painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). This emphatic homage, which turned a painting into an animate work of art, marked a significant moment in the history of Fashion. Mondrian himself perhaps felt this evolution coming when he declared. 

"Not only does fashion accurately affect an era, it is also one of the more direct forms of visual expression in human culture" - Ruvue Heim, September 1931.

Creating a veritable revolution in fashion, YSL explained his approach as emerging out of a strong desire to create dresses that were not only made up of lines but were also composed of colours. In his view, fashion had to stop being stiff and move. He decided to dress his era in clothes that were almost abstract, using simple, perfectly-proportioned silhouettes. Their technical achievement lay in the combination of jersey squares that were inlaid in a way that was imperceptible to the naked eye.

These dresses were intended to be "Dazzling and perpetually moving, like coloured mobiles" - Patrick Thévenon, "Le couturier qui a pensé aux femmes d'aujourd'hui, Candide, August 15, 1965.

The Mondrian dress was so successful that it was heavily copied, especially in the US. The immediate global attention it received contributed to both the couturier's and painter's fame. At the time, French museum collections did not hold very many works by Mondrian, and his first retrospective in Paris was not organised until 1969. Today, fashion designers continue to seek design inspiration from the later works by the artist of the De Stijl movement.

Isn't it crazy that YSL was so popular that three new barbie dolls dressed in YSL were even made for his exhibition! I think this is so cool.

Histoire D'une Collection

The History of a Collection


Autumn-Winter 1965 Collection

"For the first time in my last collection, I was inspired by Mondrian and Poliakoff, who interested me more because of their architectural side than their decorative element. To me, turning a Mondrian or a Poliakoff into a dress is about making their canvases move... They were extraordinary rejuvenating and refreshing for me: they taught me purity, balance" - Yves Saint Laurent

The Autumn-Winter 1965 collection, which was deemed revolutionary, offered a modern, Avantgarde style, spearheaded by the dresses in wool jersey by the house of Racine and inspired by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) and Serge Poliakoff (1900-1969).

Yves Saint Laurent's designs immediately received an enthusiastic response. For this collection, the designer-who, at the age of 29, was tired of "of making sad dresses for blasé billionaires" Journal du dimanche, August 15, 1965, sought to capture the spirit of the time by creating graceful designs that could move, the colour everywhere. According to the Combat, le Journal de Paris,

"Yves Saint Laurent's virtue is that this year he has composed a completely new line using old principles. In this respect his collection is unique." (August 7, 1965)

(Use the arrows to slide through these photos)

Le Style


This section brings together the designs that have come to define Saint Laurent's signature style. Most of them show how Saint Laurent borrowed from menswear and modernised the female wardrobe. Saint Laurent retained the same cut, comfort, and practical aspects of the menswear items that inspired him in a way that combined simplicity and elegance. 

The Saint Laurent look - which was fuelled by strong personalities, such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and the women in the couturier's entourage - was defined by pronounced femininity drawing on figures ranging from the flapper to the femme fatale.

Throughout his career, the couturier continually reinterpreted the tuxedo, the pea coat, the trench coat, the jumpsuit and the safari jacket, which were leitmotifs he revisited at will throughout his collections. These new classics were first created before 1970, the same period as the start of the women's liberation movement and the acknowledgement of their role in society. As Saint Laurent put it, 

"Fashions fade, style is eternal. My dream is to provide women with the foundations of a classic wardrobe that escapes the fashion of the moment, giving them greater confidence in themselves". 

The legacy of Saint Laurent's timeless style can still be seen in women's wardrobes today.

Hommage à La Mode

Homage to Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent explored the history of fashion through his designs. He transformed the antique togas worn by vestals into draped evening gowns. His medieval-inspired gowns - with embroidery recalling orfevrerie - faithfully recreated the feminine silhouettes of the Middle Ages. He was also inspired by Renaissance dresses made of precious fabrics embroidered with golden thread seventeenth-century gowns displaying the opulence of the royal court (which aristocrats and courtesans would go on to popularise in the eighteenth century), and nineteenth-century crinolines. The designs that marked the twentieth century reflected the social changed and trends the punctuated it. From the Roaring Twenties to the retro style of the 1940s, the modernity of these periods comes across in the couturier's creations, which offer a vision at once admiring and distant. Saint Laurent participated in a long tradition of collaboration between haute couture houses and skilled craftspeople, such as weavers, dyes, printers, embroiderers, plumassiers, goldsmiths and silversmiths. Each artisanal house had a specific focus as well as its own techniques and style. 

Le Studio

The Studio

Lying at the heart of the haute couture house was the studio, which animated 5 avenue Marceau for nearly thirty years. This room contrasted with the sumptuous salons and offered the kind of atmosphere Saint Laurent needed to create: a bright, quiet, neutral space with a mirrored wall as its main feature. The couturier primarily studied the model's reflection in the mirror, which offered the necessary distance for evaluating a garment. After the sketches were given to the ateliers, each item was presented as a 'toile', a version made of white cotton that provided an idea of what the garment would look like. The toile was worn by a model who walked for the couturier. It gave an indication of the proportions, the cut, and the finished silhouette. This was a decisive stage for the atelier in charge of making the garment. The bookshelves contain the publications that served as the couturier's main sources of inspiration. The simplicity of Saint Laurent's desk is striking.

Two trestles support a board decorated with his favourite objects, souvenirs, and his indispensable pencils. This setting offers a sense of atmosphere that prevailed during preparations for the fashion show, when six or seven collaborators worked alongside Saint Laurent every day.

Most of the information on this post is from the exhibition itself, I thought I'd create this post as a reference to the museum, where I can and other people can go back to use this post perhaps to help with assignments or if you perhaps can't go to the museum, can get an idea of what it is about and what is inside the museum, and still have the information I got from the Museum!

I hope this post inspires you and feeds you entertainment in times where you are unable to travel and go and see the world! That is why I decided to recycle and edit this post, it really was a beautiful experience and I'm so glad me and Kavun went while we was in Paris back in October!

Please subscribe to my fashion blog for more fashion, lifestyle and travel updates! Be the first to know :)