In 1974, the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house moved to a Parisian townhouse dating back to the Second Empire, 5 Avenue Marceau. Yves Saint Laurent would spend nearly thirty years there pursuing his career as a couturier.

During a press conference on January 7, 2002, Saint Laurent announced his intention to close his fashion house. Two years later, following extensive renovation of the building, the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent opened its doors.

For the Autumn-Winter 1965 collection, Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by the painter Piet Mondrian. This collection was revolutionary, with a modern and avant-garde style and received an enthusiastic feedback.

Yves Saint Laurent may be defined by his signature designs, such as the tuxedo or the safari jacket, but he also explored the history of fashion.  Inspired by the Middle Age, the Renaissance or the Roaring Twenties, Yves Saint Laurent fully understood that designs always reflect social changes and trends.

The wedding gown is the much anticipated moment of any fashion show. In 1965, Yves Saint Laurent looked to Russia, specifically matryochka nesting dolls. He borrowed the same shape for his hand-knit wool design with ivory silk satin ribbons, out of which peeked only the model’s radiant face.

He played with colors too.

In 1969, Yves Saint Laurent asked a sculptor, Claude Lalanne to create a series of “imprinted” accessories. Claude Lalanne made casts of the model Veruschka’s chest and stomach. This anthropomorphic copper armor on a black chiffon is a unique combination of sculpture and adornment.

As Yves Saint Laurent said once “I like a dress to be simple and an accessory to be crazy“.

And here is the beating heart of this fashion house: the Studio, a neutral space with a mirrored wall. Sketches were given here to the “chefs d’ateliers” who first produced a version made of cotton. Once this first version was approved, the fabrics were selected so the design could be made and accessorized.

October 18, 2019

YSL Museum website