In January 1962, Yves Saint Laurent launched his very first collection. To celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of his couture house, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, is looking back at the couturier’s work and juxtaposing his creations with art works from the collections of five major Paris institutions: the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the Musée Picasso, as well as presenting a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the secrets of couture at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent.
From the ancient world to pop art, Yves Saint Laurent regularly took inspiration from art history as he combined colors, carved out new forms, and rethought the structure of garments in order to create his own masterpieces. Here, androgynous silhouettes and Proustian gowns stand alongside Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, feather patterns respond to Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, flowing silhouettes merge with a mural by Raoul Dufy, Lucio Fontana’s neon lights make metallic fabrics sparkle, and the motifs on a coat echo The Dance by Henri Matisse.
Exploring the couturier’s deliberate homages to the masters of art and his never-ending quest for new means of aesthetic expression, Yves Saint Laurent and Art takes readers on an unforgettable journey through art history with Yves Saint Laurent as a guide.
Stephan Janson is a fashion designer and co-curator of Yves Saint Laurent at the Museums.
Mouna Mekouar is an art critic and independent curator based in Paris, France. She was associate curator of “Simple Shapes” at Centre Pompidou Metz (2014) and was curator at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, from 2012 to 2014.
Madison Cox is president of the Saint Laurent museums in Paris and Marrakech and president of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.