An Exhibition Dedicated to All Things Gold at Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris – by Aybuke Barkcin


“I love gold, it’s a magical color; when reflecting a woman, it’s the color of the sun.”


2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the presentation of Yves Saint Laurent’s first collection under his own name, as well as the 5th year since the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum. On this special occasion, the museum presents “GOLD by Yves Saint Laurent” exhibition to celebrate the couturier’s relationship with gold, examining the role the precious metal has played in his work.


Until May 14, 2022, the exhibition will showcase gold in a new light, bringing together 40 unique pieces tracing back to 40 years of work ranging from 1962 to 2002. The archival pieces include haute couture and ready-to-wear dresses, as well as selected accessories and objects defining the Yves Saint Laurent aesthetic.

Gold, perceived as a sign of wealth, power and prestige, has often been reserved for the powerful. The designer’s application of the precious metal in brocades, laces, sequins, leathers, embroidery, fabrics… has made the material become a central theme in painting the portrait of the modern woman, embedding gold in our collective conscious as a symbol of feminine power.



Under the curatorship of Elsa Janssen, director of the museum since March 2022, in association with the museum’s curatorial team and with the artistic collaboration of Anna Klossowski, the exhibition is built around 5 chapters, examining the link between the couturier and gold within a journey that follows through the themes of Bijoux de Jour, Coup d’Éclat, Time to Shine, Light me Up, En Lettres d’Or.


From the first collection in 1962, Bijoux de Jour highlights the golden punctuations in women’s every day jewellery, while Coup d’Éclat comes as a dive into the baroque world of Yves Saint Laurent, using gold as a material to empower the presence of women. Under the theme Time to Shine, the celebratory years of the 70s, the nightclub and disco cultures come as the focal point of inspiration for the designer, where gold acts as a jubilant symbol of enchantments and lightness, what follows is Light me Up, an invitation to explore 300 unique jewellery pieces essential to the Saint Laurent silhouette, selected by Anna Klossowski (daughter of Loulou de la Falaise and goddaughter of the couturier).

Lastly, at En Lettres d’Or the visitors are taken into the world of literary and performing arts, dear to the couturier which includes works made of glazed stoneware with a gold luster by artist Johan Creten, creating a dialogue between art and golds of Yves Saint Laurent. As if giving a nod to the iconic Yves Saint Laurent golden buttons, the art works take the shape of ovals in various unsettling textures, hypnotising the viewers in their striking gold colors. Like an outsider looking inside, the Flemish sculptor’s work researches the connection between creation and divine, playing with the duality of seduction and danger that hides beneath the world of glitz and glamour.

“It is today’s black. I always enliven black with gold, through buttons, belts and chains.”

For more information on the exhibition, please visit:


Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: