Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What to Wear, The deYoung Museum and Yves Saint Laurent

The YSL Vault

Every year I fumble through my closet and wonder what I have to wear for New Years Eve. And every year, I realize....I have nothing. Can you imagine having a closet full of haute couture clothes AND the places to wear them?! Not many can. And there is only one who had the imagination to fill a closet like that quite like Yves Saint Laurent.

Last weekend, I jumped in the car with family in tow to San Francisco for the day. The first thing on the schedule was the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park where an amazing exhibit of inspiring fashion representing the forty years of the Yves Saint Laurent Fashion House was on display. I could have stayed for hours. Dresses, coats, pant suits, jackets, shoes, hats.....what could be a more wonderful way to spend a cold winter day, but surrounded by the luxury of it all?

Yves Saint Laurent was particularly well known for redefining what a woman should/could wear. From the late 50's on, YSL was creating new silhouettes like the trapeze dress for women,and borrowing from men's wardrobes :the pea coat, the safari jacket, the trench and the pinstripe suit creating new classics that would eventually end up in every woman's wardrobe.

His imagination was limitless. Drawing inspiration from imaginary travels, art, literature, flora and fauna, YSL created a body of work that is hard to surpass.

African Inspiration

Russian Bohemian

Shakespearean Fantasy Wedding Gown

Ode to Picasso

Tribute to Matisse

Evening Gown with "Bust" sculpture in galvanized copper created by Claude Lalanne

Sequin "Scales" Evening Dress

Cape of Rooster Feathers

Ostrich Feather Gown

Evening Ensemble with Pheasant and Vulture Feathers

YSL loved glamour and a woman's body. His creations were meant to celebrate the feminine form sometimes baring all.

Spring Summer Cocktail Dress

Sheer Evening Dress with Ostrich Feathers

Evening Gown in Tribute to Marilyn Monroe

There was so much to see...I went through the exhibit three times while the rest of the family toured the rest of the deYoung. This is just a small smattering of the lusciousness. There are over 125 outfits fully accessorized with amazing attention to detail. Sketches of many of YSL's works, videos and a biographical life history brings it all to life.

The exhibit runs through the 5th of April for those of you in the Bay Area between now and then. To find out more click here and here. For those of you who cannot attend, I highly recommend this:

Available through Amazon, this book should be on your "must have" list. Full of beautiful photos and many many sketches that are not part of the exhibit, you can see the genius that was Yves Saint Laurent. It is a perfect way to celebrate the life and imagination of YSL. (1936-2008)

I want to give my most heartfelt thanks to all of you who have come to read katiedid this past year. You have provided such a great support and wonderful network of design loving friends. This coming year is no doubt going to be full of challenges for us all. Here's to handling all of the challenges with huge imagination, wit and a positive outlook. Cheers!



karlene said...

I like the evening gown!!! Now, where do we get that body? Happy New Years, thank you for all you do.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh I miss him. And I am salivating over all these glorious frocks. I think if I owned that Shakespearean Wedding Dress I would wear it everywhere!! Really.

All my best wishes for a very Happy New Year, Katie!! I'm glad we "met"!

Cote de Texas said...

it looks wonderful. there were just a few looks i remember, not many though! i actually never did own a couture ysl gown, haha!!!!

beautiful post - and Happy New Years!!! notice what time it is and that I am blogging. tells you about my night. boring.

Pigtown-Design said...

YSL was indeed the master!

Happy 2009 to you and the family!

Blue Muse said...

Oooooh I'd love to have that pheasant and vulture feather dress!!! ... I'd like to have somewhere to wear it... LOL!

Happy New Year, Katie!

xo Isa

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Can you see if they'll wrap up the Matisse dress and mail it to me? Oh, well ... Lovely visit with you and YSL. I have the article from the Dec. 1976 Vogue with YSL's rich Russian peasant look — all brocade and velvet and fur going on for pages.

There is also a little note telling readers that this is the last large format issue of the magazine (a glorious 9 1/2" x 12 1/2" ). As of Jan. 1977 they would be the same size as all other magazines. A sad day.

Velvet and Linen said...

I am definitely going to have to make a trip up the coast to see this exhibit. Although YSL's creations are magnificent, I must say that my favorite part is seeing his sketches and inspirations. It is always fascinating to see into the designing mind of people who I admire.
I think that is why I like your blog so much!

Happy New Year, Katie!
I look forward to seeing what inspires you in 2009.


Patricia Gray said...

A wonderful post about a true style Icon. I wish I could see this exhibit.
Wishing you a very happy 2009!

Visual Vamp said...

My friend Sabina sent me all the press clippings and stuff from the De Young when she went to see this show. I was just drooling, wanting it to be here in New Orleans!
I loved Yves. As a person and as a genius designer.
Also want to wish you a Happy New Year, and look forward to reading more of your blog in 2009!
xo xo

Suzy said...

Happy New Year to you too!

pve design said...

Having had a Fashion Career in New York, "Yves" was always one of my favorite among other greats. He had a certain flair for elegance. My professor in college always taught us so much about these dynamic designers and I am thankful for Mrs.Lazarus and all she gave us in valuable lessons.
I would love to see that show!

Beaux Mondes Designs said...

Thanks for sharing this Katie. I still have not had a chance to visit the exhibit but hope to before it ends. You've inspired me to make the drive this weekend. I cannot wait to see Yves famous works up close. Thanks again.

Splaneyo said...

Happy New Year! What a fabulous exhibit. The de Young is one of the many things I miss about the Bay Area...


Meg said...

Hi Katie,

I read your blog often..first time to comment, hello! I was just in San Francisco visiting my in-laws for the holidays and we went to the YSL exhibit...LOVED it. So amazing, I also could have spent hours, except I had a husband who chose to sit in the sun outside and wait while I looked! I love your work and your blog ;) M