This weekend a dazzling exhibit of Yves Saint Laurent's work is coming exclusively to Denver, in a way the country has never seen it before.
The Denver Art Museum will be the only museum in the United States with a 15-part themed exhibit that premiered only last year at Le Petit Palais Musee des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective. Like a time capsule of the designer's work, each part of the exhibit will show transitions in his art and the artists that carried Saint Laurent from one creation to the next.
In Yves Saint Laurent's words, many of his pieces were inspired by imaginary journeys that he'd dreamed.
"I use my imagination on countries I don't know," Saint Laurent once said. "I hate travelling. If I read a book about India, with photos, or Egypt, where I've never been, my imagination runs away with me. That's how I make my most marvelous voyages."
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Asked why the exhibit will be exclusive to Denver, Art Museum spokeswoman Ashley Pritchard told The Huffington Post:
Denver is home to a blossoming fashion and design community. This exhibition demonstrates the museum’s commitment to presenting and examining creativity in all its manifestations. Saint Laurent drew inspiration from art and said that his craft “depends on artists for existence.” The exhibition draws direct lines between the designer and the artists he admired including Piet Mondrian, Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh. Many of these masters are on view at the museum.
The museum’s leadership visited Paris last summer, saw the show and was so moved by the presentation and the connection between art, design and style that they wanted to bring the exhibition to the DAM to share with the U.S. audience. The immersive and interactive environment of the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition compliments the DAM’s onsite programming. As a leader in the field of interactive experiences that explore creativity and engage participants, the DAM will also have a Fashion Studio connecting the fashion and design community with the exhibition and its visitors.
After becoming the young artistic director at the House of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent transcended the gender barriers of fashion with his tuxedos, safari jackets and trousers for women. At the age of 26 his first haute couture show even shocked the fashion world with his elegant menswear-inspired creations.
By making use of masculine codes, he brought women self-assurance, audacity and power, whilst preserving their feminity. These clothes are part of the 20th century history. They have accompanied women's emancipation in every domain, be it personal, social or political.
All of Saint Laurent's creations that will be featured in the exhibit have been preserved by the Foundation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent, that has made the days of Saint Laurent and fashion partner Pierre Berge transition from memory into a physical preservation of the designers' early work.
“This exhibition demonstrates the impact of Saint Laurent’s work on the history of fashion and the present-day relevance of his style,” exhibition curator Florence Muller said. “His creations achieved an ingenious symbiotic relationship between setting style and recognizing popular trends that made them not only wardrobe necessities, but also reflected women’s changing role in society.”
The Yves Saint Laurent collection will be on view in the Anschutz Gallery in the DAM’s Hamilton Building from March 25, 2012, through July 7, 2012. Approximately 200 outfits will be on view.
Photos courtesy of The Denver Art Museum.
LOOK: A preview of the work on display at DAM
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