“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence”.
– Yves Saint Laurent
Happy New Year my darling readers! The Guru has been working a lot but hasn’t forgotten about you. As a treat and, for you to forgive her long absence, she has brought you the epitome of the Parisian romanticism: Yves Saint Lauren.
For many years, Laurent studied fashion and took numerous classes to enhance his knowledge on designing as well as the fashion industry in general. In 1954, Laurent got his break in the fashion business and began working for one of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world – Christian Dior. In 1954, while dining at a local restaurant, Christian had a heart attack and died. After this unexpected death, Yves Saint Laurent quickly became his successor and began designing apparel and accessories under the Dior name.
In 1962, Laurent opened his very own fashion house. For many years, he enjoyed designing and selling some of the world’s most talked about designs. In 2002, after 40 years of owning his own fashion house, Laurent announced his retirement from the company. Despite the retirement of the original creator of the company, the label continued to design and distribute a large variety of designer apparel and accessories. Now, YSL house also includes a museum in the original Parisian building that informs the visitors about the daily activities in this creative hub through the use of visual journals, interviews and design pieces.
The Guru paid a visit to his brand new museum while visiting the city and meeting the designer. Yes, because walking down the aisles of this building you can find objects, clothes, sketches, videos and stories about him and his work. Interviews and films that describe Saint Laurent and his work in such a personal way that, when leaving the place, the Guru couldn’t help but feel she already knew him! Her favourite bit was learning about his passion for encouraging, soothing and uplifting women. Oh, and also his forever belief in unconditional love (sigh). His love for colour, narrative and beauty drove him to create a brand highly luxurious, concentrating in the qualities of different materials (including obviously fur) and their behaviour on a woman’s body. Lines, weight, colour, light and shades were expressed in his collections through, not only clothes but also jewellery and accessories.
Yves Saint Laurent style was flattering: form fitting and comfortable. Sexy while maintaining sophistication, his collections feature a wide variety of tied shirts and skirts as well as frilly, lacy feminine pieces. Full-bottom skirts and detailed tank tops are prominent in his collections as well. Classic femininity has always been and will continue to be the defining feature of the Yves Saint Laurent label. Yves Saint Laurent worked with furs such as mink, fox, beaver, Mongolian lamb and rabbit among others. Mixing textiles and fur helped him achieved shapes and volumes that provided his clientele with the glamour, volume and individuality they were after.
YSL wasn’t only a romantic but a strong supporter of the power contained in a woman’s body and brain. He worked incessantly to provide them with inspiring designs that would remind them of their purpose and influence in this planet. The Guru thought his presence would have been much appreciated in nowadays-social crisis in regard to gender equality… in a way, Saint Laurent was a social visionary and his knowledge of the feminine body enabled him to understand its command in all levels: from the physical to the social.
This museum is about the brand, collaborators, staff and nowadays creations but mainly is about the person. The space where he used to work (and loved so much), his partner, his travels, his fears and his dreams.
P.S. Next week, have a walk around the pretty little corners I visited in Paris. Good food, good drinks, some art and the best bits of the French capital. You cannot miss it!
The Fur Guru xx