Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective Highlights Fashion Icon’s Career

on March 27 2012 5:01 AM
Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective Highlights Fashion Icon’s Career
Black velvet sheath dress, "Paris rose" satin bow, "Paris" haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1983. Photo Gilles Tapie. Torero ensemble, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1979. Pink gazar cape; gold and pink lamé bolero and knickerbockers; bright pink satin and taffeta blouse. Photo A. Guirkinger. Short cocktail dress, Tribute to Piet Mondrian, Haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1965. Ecru wool jersey, encrusted with black, red, yellow and blue. Photo A. Guirkinger Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Sa

A selection of around 200 haute couture garments along with numerous photographs, drawings and films is being showcased at the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition at the Denver Art Museum.

Running from March 25 to July 8, the new exhibition will present a complete overview of Yves Saint Laurent's entire creative output and will illustrate the development of Saint Laurent's style and the historical foundations of his work.

Organized thematically, the presentation melds design and art to explore the full arc of Saint Laurent's career, from his first days at Dior in 1958 to the splendor of his evening dresses from 2002.

The exhibition has been curated by fashion historian Florence Müller who is the former director-curator of the Union Française des arts du Costume (1987-1993). In the past, Müller served as associate professor at the Institut Français de la Mode, and was chief curator of Yves Saint Laurent Style, hosted by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2008.

This exhibition demonstrates the impact of Saint Laurent's work on the history of fashion and the present-day relevance of his style, curator Muller said. His creations achieved an ingenious symbiotic relationship between setting style and recognizing popular trends that made them not only wardrobe necessities, but also reflected women's changing role in society.

During his 40 years of designing, Saint Laurent reportedly transformed the female wardrobe by borrowing the tuxedo, the trouser suit, shorts and the safari jacket from men's clothing, transferring these symbols of power from one gender to the other.

His designs revolutionized the fashion world just as the masters he drew inspiration from revolutionized the art world. This exhibition showcases the exquisite designs of an artist, Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer, Director of the DAM said.

Throughout his career, he drew inspiration from the World War II era, his imaginary travels and his dialogue with art.