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!


Michele reports:

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)

MC - YSL 1

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.

MC - YSL 2

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.

MC _ YSL 3

MC - YSL 30 - French_Flag.

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”.

MC _ YSL 4

MC - YSL 31 tuxedo

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!