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“Fashions fade - Style is elegant” Yves Saint Laurent... Barb Harmon visits the recently opened Musée Yves Saint Laurent in the 19thcentury mansion house in Paris which was once home to the famous designer Haute Couture house… Yves Saint Laurent was a genius - a visionary who became a legend at an early age. Today his name graces a variety of products from luxurious cosmetics to highend handbags. Knowing a bit about his background will enhance your visit to this excellent new museum. An impressive background Saint Laurent's career began with The House of Dior at the age of 19. When the legendary Christian Dior died in 1957 he named the 21-year-old Saint Laurent as his successor, the youngest couturier in the world. He had six months to put together a collection for the January 1958 show. The show was well received, putting his name on the map and ensuring a bright future. In 1961, Saint Laurent along with his partner Pierre Bergé, established the legendary fashion house YSL at 30 bis Rue Spontini. Bergé raised capital while Saint Laurent created garments that we consider essential today. His debut collection in 1962, featured the first pea coat and trench coat. I can't imagine life without a trench coat. He revolutionized women's clothing and changed how we dress. The first tuxedo known as Le Smoking was introduced in 1966. Borrowed from the boys but feminized by the designer, this black-tie suit is still à la mode half a century later.
Left: Musee Yves Saint Laurent collection photo Luc Castel; middle: Saint Laurent's "Le Smoking" Musee Yves Saint Laurent; above: the great designer at work Saint Laurent introduced the first pantsuit in 1967 and in 1968 brought out the first safari jacket and jumpsuit. Still classics to this day. I've barely scratched the surface of his 'firsts', it's easy to see why the museum's opening was so highly anticipated. It's the history of modern fashion. Saving for the future In 1964, Saint Laurent began to set aside pieces from each collection along with the corresponding sketches, fabric swatches, and accessories. This amounted to thousands of designs. Even though it was early in his career, he could visualize a YSL museum decades later. He continued to create on many levels and in 1974 the fashion house moved to the opulent Hôtel Particulier on 5 avenue Marceau. From there the designs continued to flourish. In January 2002, Saint Laurent formally announced the end of his design career and the haute couture house. Retirement was not on his mind however. In 2004, Bergé and Saint Laurent opened The Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent. Its purpose was to promote art, fashion (Saint Laurent and other designers) and photography exhibitions. A staff member stated "The exhibitions were always popular but the most popular were those devoted exclusively to Yves Saint Laurent." I could see why. Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008. The Fondation continued until 2016 when Bergé decided the mansion should undergo refurbishment and reopen as a fullyfledged museum devoted to all things Yves Saint Laurent.
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contents Features 8 A tale of two c
P 88 88 give aways Win a row of gor
The Medieval City of Carcassonne Th
The inside track The Medieval city
Left: Le Parc Franck Putelat restau
astide saint-louis Back in the midd
The weekly market (Tuesday, Thursda