Today I am introducing a Guest Blogger: Michèle Coppin
Michele was born and raised in Belgium but graduated from both the Rhode Island School of Design and Pratt Institute. To read about Michele’s painting and see a portfolio click here.
I met Michele through Beehive Studios’ blog Color Buzz. Color Buzz is sponsored by Valspar Paints and features stories by Michele and the three other partners of Beehive Studios. I have always loved their posts for their variety, the displays of color involved in every story, and the attention to detail. So when Michele offered to write a post about the St. Laurent exhibit in Paris, I jumped at the offer!
While in Paris recently, I saw the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the ‘Petit Palais’.This exhibit is fabulous and delicious like icing on cake! (Paris being the cake)
Covering forty years of amazing creation, the show demonstrates that Yves Saint Laurent was one of the greatest artists of the century – an innovator and a true visionary.
The first part of the exhibit is primarily focused on form and starts by explaining the designer’s importance to a generation of women who consider wearing pants normal attire.
Indeed, many of Yves Saint Laurent’s garments were inspired by men’s tailoring at a time when women did not wear trousers as evening wear.
He transformed functional men’s wear such as safari jackets and pea coats into Haute Couture.
This was not readily accepted at the time;
In 1968 by the American socialite Nan Kempher ordered a pant suit from YSL: the doorman at a NY restaurant wouldn’t let her in because the dress code barred women wearing trousers. So she took them off and went in just wearing the jacket as a mini dress.
However, it was the “Smoking” – a man’s tuxedo adapted for a woman first presented in 1966 that became is signature.
“For a woman, the smoking suit is an indispensable item in which she will constantly feel fashionable because it is a garment of style, not a garment of fashion. Fashions come and go, style is eternal”.
Yves Saint Laurent’s famous and daring portrait by JeanLoup Sieff perfectly reflects his taboo-free creative work. Although very shy, he pushed the boundaries of acceptability in a quest for greater self- confidence. Just as “Chanel gave women freedom, St Laurent gave them power” – in other words Coco liberated women while Yves liberated fashion…
The characteristic colors of this period were classic and elegant: Mostly combinations of Black and White, tans and “French Flag” maritime stripes of Blues, whites and Reds.
However, as a color lover, the ball gowns were my favorite: exquisite eye candy….
to be continued tomorrow!