The Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris presents “Yves Saint Laurent, Backstage at Haute Couture in Lyon June 17- December 5th

Dear Shaded Viewers,

It was the hottest day in Paris so far this month but all was very cool and inspired at the “Yves Saint Laurent, Backstage at Haute Couture in Lyon” exhibition. It was originally hosted at  Musée des Tissus de Lyon in November 2019. The exhibition highlights the privileged links maintained by the couturier during forty years of collaboration with the manufacturers and suppliers of fabrics and materials in the Lyon region. The curators are: Esclarmonde Monteil, Director of the Musée des Tissus de Lyon, Chief Curator of Heritage and Aurélie Samuel, Director of the collections of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Curator of Heritage. Marco de Rivera and I had a private tour today by Aurélie Samuel, Director of the collections of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Curator of Heritage. It was lovely. Especially enchanting was the plan that 16 year old  Yves Saint Laurent drew up with his Maison on Place Vendome, he knew exactly which textile firms he planned to work with as well as the models. Keep in mind, he was 16 and he saw his future clearly.

The exhibition reveals the combined universes of Yves Saint Laurent’s talent combined with the sublime fabrics, the chiffons and velvets which illustrate over forty years of close collaboration with the Tissus de Lyon. The exhibition traces the encounter between a genius designer who “could make a dress with his eyes closed because he knew so much about fabrics” and one of the world’s most renowned textile industries, which provides Parisian haute couture with unparalleled technical and creative expertise. The tour highlights seven Lyon-based companies on which Yves Saint Laurent relied on for the production of his models. The exhibition is also an invitation to discover the secrets of fabrics: crepes, mousselines, taffetas, velvets, etc. The characteristics of the materials and techniques offer an unprecedented dive into the heart of the creation of one of the greatest couturiers of the 20th century. Also keep in mind that Yves Saint Laurent was very loyal to the  textile firms he chose to work with. They would send over bolts of fabrics hoping that Saint Laurent would decide on their samples.

A new look at the creative process of Yves Saint Laurent

“Questioning the relationship between the designer and the fabric manufacturers and suppliers in the Lyon region allows us to offer a new perspective on Yves Saint Laurent’s creations. We demonstrate that the creative and technical dimensions of the designer’s work cannot be opposed. On the contrary, they are inseparable and feed off each other. Presenting this exhibition at 5 avenue Marceau, in the historic location of the fashion house, is at the same time paying a well-deserved tribute to the emblematic know-how of an entire region, but it also allows our visitors to understand the designer’s creative process in a new way. The exhibition also gives a new dimension to the visit to Yves Saint Laurent’s studio, which is at the heart of the tour. It was the antechamber of creation and the place where all these magnificent fabrics came to life. ”
– Aurélie Samuel, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the collections of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

“This exhibition is an opportunity to see dresses kept by the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris that have not been shown much or at all. We chose dresses for which we knew the fabric suppliers, which we could identify in Lyon or the surrounding area. It was also an opportunity to use the Musée des Tissus’ expertise in textile analysis. We analysed these fabrics, which are from the 20th century and are sometimes less studied than older fabrics. We show that the technicality is very important and that there are technological innovations that are used by the couturier to create dresses that would not have been possible with older techniques. This is one of the major interests of the exhibition: to show this relationship with the material of a very great couturier.”

– Esclarmonde Monteil co-curator of the exhibition General and Scientific Director of the Musée des Tissus de Lyon

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris 5 avenue Marceau
75116 Paris – France
+33 (0)1 44 31 64 00

From Thursday 17 June, due to the health situation and until further notice, the museum will be open from Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm only (last entry at 5.15pm). The evacuation of the rooms starts 20 minutes before the museum closes.
In order to control the number of visitors, time-stamped tickets must be reserved online.

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.