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Yves Saint Laurent exhibition: Transparencies

The Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris unveils, from February 9 to August 25, 2024, Yves Saint Laurent: Transparencies, the power of materials, the second part of a saga that began last summer at the City of Lace and Fashion of Calais.

For this new stage, the Parisian museum calls on curator Anne Dressen as artistic advisor. She takes her enlightened look at transparency as a privileged artistic expression of Yves Saint Laurent.

Date:  from February 9, 2024 to August 25, 2024

Location: Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris

The scenography, orchestrated by architect Pauline Marchetti, explores the sensitive dimensions of space with finesse.

Transparency, often in contradiction with the function of clothing which must cover, conceal, even protect the body, became, from the 1960s, a muse for Yves Saint Laurent. Delicate materials like chiffon, lace and tulle become her brushes to create a visual symphony.

Yves Saint Laurent Transparency Expo
Yves Saint Laurent Transparency Expo

Transparency, in the form of a leitmotif, reappears regularly during his forty years of creation, sometimes accompanied by embroidery or opaque fabrics. Boldly, it harmonizes contradictions, allowing women to assert their bodies with pride and insolence.

Based on the power of materials, this exhibition aims to explore fashion and the gaze of Yves Saint Laurent in all their complexity, delving as close as possible into their intimate connection with the body and reinterpreted nudity.< /p>

Among the selection of around forty textile pieces, emblematic creations emerge from the history of the revelation of the female body by Yves Saint Laurent. Pieces such as the first topless blouse, renamed by the American press the See-Through Blouse during spring–summer 1968, or the Nude Dress, a black muslin dress belted with ostrich feathers from the following collection. Lesser-known pieces demonstrate the couturier’s virtuosity, offering a vision of the powerful and liberated woman.

The creative process is exposed with sketches, tracing patterns, photographs, as well as accessories (hats, jewelry, shoes, etc.). A series of drawings by Yves Saint Laurent, inspired by the works of Goya, completes this immersion.

Echoing the creations of Yves Saint Laurent, works by modern and contemporary artists enrich the route. Anne Bourse's captivating drawings resonate with the superpositions of materials and colors. Man Ray's experiments with rayograms and fashion photos recall the designer's research into lace. The fluidity of the muslin and its movement finds an echo in the serpentine dance of Loïe Fuller captured by the Lumière brothers. Finally, a work from Picabia's Transparencies series reveals the visible and invisible part of the model, the elusive part of his persona.

The Yves Saint Laurent exhibition: Transparencies, the power of materials is structured around 5 sections.

The first section delves into the variety of materials used, exploring variations in organza, Cigaline®, lace, tulle and chiffon. These various textures allow the designer to play with transparency effects.

The following section gradually reveals the female body through plays of openwork transparencies, where the use of lace and tulle makes certain parts of the body abstract, lit as if by spotlights.

Upstairs, the exhibition explores the fluidity of movement induced by soft fabrics, such as muslin, which envelop, uncover and cover the body, following it like a dreamlike mist.

In so-called "flou" sewing workshops, in contrast to those of "tailors", transparency offers total freedom to the body.

Further on, transparency reveals the construction lines of a garment, particularly organdy, allowing the body to be structured, just like the patterns on tracing paper presented for the first time.

In conclusion, several silhouettes of brides, veiled in tulle, often reinvented by Yves Saint Laurent, put an end to the exhibition, as they traditionally do in a fashion show. Yves Saint Laurent's brides, far from being transparent, assert their presence with unfathomable freedom.

This exhibition exhibits the artistic and sensitive poetry of Yves Saint Laurent, testifying to his creative rebellion against the changing prohibitions of society, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for our time.

Date:  from February 9, 2024 to August 25, 2024

Location: Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris

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