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Yves Saint Laurent at the Petit Palais

Yves-saint-laurent-_675489cText: Mabli Jones

Next week, the Musée des Beaux Arts at the Petit Palais opens its first ever exhibition dedicated to haute couture; it is fitting then, that it should be a retrospective of the work of a man who embodied the ideal of fashion designer as artist like no other, France’s beloved adopted son and last great couturier: Yves Saint Laurent.

Charting his lifetime’s work through a selection of over 300 original creations, from his beginnings at Dior, through the height of his experimentalism during the 70s, to his later refined exoticism; the exhibition celebrates the astounding range and beauty of his accomplishment, both technical and artistic.
Displayed alongside contemporary films, photographs and drawings, the work is placed in its proper cultural and historical context. It is evident that Yves Saint Laurent had an incredible capacity to draw inspiration from everything and anything - from 19th century theatre, Mondrian canvases, and Moroccan spice markets to kids on the streets of Saint Germain des Prés. Original sketches and images from his atelier prove that he saw himself above all as a craftsman, working obsessively hard to master the tools of his trade, with a deep understanding and respect for form, fabric, cut and the importance of detail. The greater significance of his work is also emphasised, showing how this relentless moderniser changed the world of fashion forever, freeing women from narrow and outdated ideas of style, and democratising high fashion by making ready to wear respectable.

Like the hundreds of mourners in Le Smoking trouser suits who lined the streets at his funeral in 2024, the retrospective at the Petit Palais promises to be a great tribute to one of France’s greatest artists of the twentieth century.

From 11 March to 29 August 2024
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6pm, Thursdays until 8pm
Musée du Petit Palais
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris
01 53 43 40 00
Metro station : Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau or Concorde
RER C, Invalides ; RER A, Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
Full price: €11
Reduced price: €8
Half price: €5.50

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