YSL – Style is Eternal

Yesterday morning, mother and I ventured north once again to the wonderful surroundings of the Bowes Museum, host of the YSL Style is Eternal exhibition.

Yet again the Bowes didn’t disappoint with the collection housed in three exhibition halls.

The introduction to Yves Saint Laurent is a short film of his catwalk displays.

Introduction to the exhibition shows the drama of the catwalk
Introduction to the exhibition shows the drama of the catwalk

YSL was billed as being the inventor of the modern woman’s wardrobe and this exhibition certainly proved to be the case. Drawing heavily on masculine trends of tailoring, at a time when women were still bound by the aesthetics of corsetry, he created a confident and powerful woman.

My favourite of the collection – look at the detail of the stripes following through the pockets into the trouser leg. Perfect tailoring
Loving the pinstripe short suit - the masculine weight fabric
Love the pinstripe short suit – the masculine weight fabric
YSL explored the juxtaposition between masculine tailoring and the sheer to show the body in full splendour
YSL explored the juxtaposition between masculine tailoring and the sheer to show the body in full splendour
Still relevant and still fashionable - so wearable even today
Still relevant and still fashionable – so wearable even today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhibition includes extensive sketches and samples of work.  YSL has one of the most complete archives of the designers work and much of this was on display.  It was wonderful to see his sketches to the atelier with a few notes and a piece of cloth, and then to see their interpretation of his design.

A toile is produced for each garment before it goes into manufacture.  These examples show the level of detail - a completed garment in calico with buttons, fasteners and pen markings where the topstitching will be.  The level of detail is outstanding.
A toile is produced for each garment before it goes into manufacture. These examples show the level of detail – a completed garment in calico with buttons, fasteners and pen markings where the topstitching will be. The level of detail is outstanding.

YSL was influenced by both theatre and other artists and regularly paid homage to both.

The Mondrian dress was the dress which tempted me into dress design - I discovered this in the late 1980s and wanted to replicate it.  I started in 1990 with my first shift dress
The Mondrian dress was the dress which tempted me into dress design – I discovered this in the late 1980s and wanted to replicate it. I started in 1990 with my first shift dress
YSL was influenced by contemporary artists - these fabulous pieces influenced by Picasso and Warhol
YSL was influenced by contemporary artists – these fabulous pieces influenced by Picasso and Warhol

 

This YSL exhibition is the first in the UK and truly shows his influence on fashion and his homage to the art world, as well  his is immense talent. Well worth a visit during over the long, and what is at present proving to be wet, school holidays!

 

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