Yves Saint-Laurent museum presents

Yves Saint-Laurent museum presents "Sheer, The diaphanous creations of Yves Saint Laurent"

The Yves Saint-Laurent Paris Museum presents "Sheer, The diaphanous creations of Yves Saint Laurent," a golden opportunity to discover the creative process of one of the world's most renowned designers.

For this second part, the Parisian museum focuses its exhibition on transparency as Yves Saint-Laurent's privileged artistic expression.

Transparency, when worn, is theoretically incompatible with the very function of clothing, which is supposed to cover, conceal, or protect the body. Attracted by the suggestive power of transparency and this contradiction, Yves Saint-Laurent began using materials such as chiffon, lace, and tulle as early as the 1960s. As a recurring motif, transparency appears throughout his forty years of creation, sometimes associated with embroidery or opaque fabrics. With boldness, he reconciled these contradictions, allowing women to assert their bodies with pride and insolence.

"I've known transparencies for a long time. The important thing with them is to keep the mystery... I think I've done the most for women's emancipation," said Yves Saint-Laurent.

Building on the power of materials, this new exhibition aims to explore the fashion and vision of Yves Saint-Laurent in all their complexity: by closely examining their relationship with the body and nudity.

Among the forty textile pieces on display are iconic creations from the history of the revelation of the female body in Yves Saint-Laurent's work, such as the first bare-breasted blouse, renamed "See-Through Blouse" by the American press, from the spring-summer 1968 collection, or the Nude Dress, a black chiffon dress adorned with ostrich feathers from the following collection.

Rare pieces testify to the couturier's virtuosity in presenting a powerful and liberated female figure. To complement this, essential elements of the creative process are presented: sketches, patterns on tracing paper, photographs, as well as accessories, and a series of drawings inspired by Goya's paintings.

Echoing Yves Saint-Laurent's creations, works by modern and contemporary artists punctuate the exhibition. The hypnotic drawings of Anne Bourse evoke the layering of materials and colors; experiments with rayograms and fashion photos by Man Ray recall Yves Saint-Laurent's research on lace; the fluidity of chiffon and its movement is found in Loïe Fuller's serpentine dance captured by the Lumière brothers; finally, a work from the Transparencies series by Picabia reveals the visible and invisible part of the model, the elusive part of her persona.

The exhibition "Sheer, The diaphanous creations of Yves Saint Laurent" is structured around five sections.

The first offers an introduction to materials, exploring several pieces made of organza, lace, tulle, or chiffon, allowing the couturier to play with different transparency effects. The next section gradually reveals the female body through openwork transparencies, using lace and tulle to abstract certain parts of the body, as if they were illuminated by spotlights.

In the third section, the exhibition addresses the fluidity of movement generated by soft fabrics, such as chiffon, which animate, cover, and uncover the body, accompanying it like a double, a dreamy mist. In the "flou" couture workshops, as opposed to the "tailleur" workshops, transparency offers total freedom to the body.

Further on, transparency reveals the construction lines of a garment - notably in organdy - allowing the body to be structured, as evidenced by the tracing paper patterns presented for the first time.

At the end of the journey, several bridal silhouettes with their tulle veils, so often reinvented by Yves Saint-Laurent, close the exhibition, as they do in every fashion show. Yves Saint-Laurent's brides are never transparent: they affirm their freedom in unfathomable freedom.

This exhibition makes visible the artistic and sensitive poetry of Yves Saint-Laurent; his creative rebellion against the shifting taboos of society remains more inspiring than ever today.

Until August 25, 2024. Open daily from 11 am to 6 pm, except Mondays. Late-night opening on Thursdays until 9 pm.

Photo ©Roberto Martinez

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