Posts Tagged ‘Yves Saint Laurent’
By: Denver Girl Hailee Satterfield
A few weeks ago I spent my rainy Saturday afternoon at the Denver Art Museum’s Yves Saint Laurent “The Retrospective” exhibit. When I worked for stylist Petra Flannery while living in Los Angeles last year, YSL was a brand I had become familiar with as it was always a go to designer we would style our clients in.
The words YSL to me before reviewing this demonstration of Yves Saint Laurent’s humble lifestyle and ever so relevant designs, simply meant to me a luxury brand with gorgeous shoes and amazing red carpet looks I got to dress the stars of Hollywood in.
No one I knew had been to the exhibit so I was excited to see what all the hype was about. I was expecting to see mannequins draped in the best work of YSL and a few biographical illustrations on the life and accomplishments of this designer. What I experienced turned out to be much more than that and honestly a life changing respect and understanding of the man behind this brand.
From the second I walked through the glass doors and entered the first room that mimicked a simple four post desk that YSL first began sketching on, I was mesmerized by the designer. I had no idea that YSL was so revolutionary and influential in redefining the way women dressed.
When YSL left Dior and first started his own fashion house in the 1960s, the norm for women’s fashion was feminine dresses and contemporary silhouettes. He was one of the first designers to challenge this cultural norm and introduce more masculine silhouettes such as the tuxedo jacket, pea coat, and pantsuit.
Considering how influential YSL’s designs were to the world, it was astonishing to discover how painfully shy he was in his professional and personal life. In addition to his reserved tendencies, he was also incredibly humble about his work which made me respect him as a designer that much more.
What actually surprised me the most was the vast amount of rooms and mannequins that were saturated with incredible gowns, coats, boots, pantsuits, and jackets. When I walked into the last room of the exhibition there was a mind blowing ceiling to floor, wall to wall, display of the various black pantsuit and tuxedo jackets that YSL created throughout his career. I sat by myself on a bench several yards away from the two walls lined with mannequins and just starred for a long time. It was so beautiful and overwhelming to recognized how flawless and relevant his designs are to this day.
When I got up from the bench and turned around to what I thought was the exit, I was completely shocked to see rows and rows of some of the most beautiful gowns I have ever seen. It was unbelievable to see how many of the gowns were almost identical to dresses I had put former clients in or seen in fashion magazine. To think that a man designed these over fifty years ago and still paralleled today’s fashion trends only exemplifies what a genius and inspiration Yves Saint Laurent is to women’s fashion.
So readers, I cannot encourage you enough to get down to the Denver Art Museum and be prepared to get to know the genius behind this internationally recognized brand and see some of the most beautiful garments ever designed. And hurry up because the exhibit is ending July 8!