Bowes Museum is set to host the most comprehensive first-ever exhibit on the works and life of Algerian-born French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in UK.
Due to take place from July 11 to October 25, 2015, the display titled Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal will highlight the defining elements of the master craftsman’s vision and the significant influence it has had on fashion and the way womenswear is perceived globally.
The display will articulate the late design maestro’s famous statement ‘Fashion fades, style is eternal’ through various themes, ranging from art, lace and transparency, to his signature masculine–feminine style trends.
Organized in collaboration with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition will feature nearly 50 pieces, including some iconic ensembles from the Russian Collection, the sharply cut and patterned Mondrian dresses and the female tuxedos.
After heading up the Christian Dior fashion house from 1957 to 1960 as Artistic Director, Yves Saint Laurent created his own fashion house with partner Pierre Bergé, with its first catwalk show in 1962.
In the first twelve years, the designer defined a new style and composed the quintessential elements of the modern woman’s wardrobe. By making use of male dress codes (Le Smoking tuxedo), the designer brought women a sense of social empowerment whilst retaining their femininity, a sentiment emphasised by Pierre Bergé, “If Chanel gave women their freedom, it was Saint Laurent who empowered them.”
Passionate about arts, and a collector himself, Laurent paid homage to various artists in his haute couture collections, with the famous Mondrian dresses, as well as his homage to Diaghilev and Picasso in 1979 and tributes to Matisse, Cocteau, Braque and Van Gogh in the 1980s.