Monday, April 26, 2010

Fashion Influenced by Art

Yves Saint Laurent was the first designer to have a museum show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in (1983), elevating fashion design to the level of art. This spring, the Petit Palais in Paris celebrates the revolutionary designer, who died in 2008, with an exhibition curated by Florence Muller and Farid Chenoune called Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective. The show traces particular moments in his career as well as his connection to the arts.

Saint Laurent's passion for art achieved worldwide fame when his collection inspired by works by artists such as Henri Matisse, James Ensor, and Pablo Picasso — was auctioned at Christie's in February 2009 for $264 million, making it the most expensive private collection ever to be sold.

Yves Saint Laurent's Piet Mondrian homage (shown here) is one of his most iconic designs, as well as one of the clearest examples of the influence art had on his work. It isn’t just a print, Saint Laurent used a very special, strong jersey, and he cut each color separately and then sewed them together. The work of assembling all the different parts allowed him to express Mondrian's emphatic flatness on the physical form.

Interestingly the designer who designed both very ornate creations and the simplest designs had extreme working conditions as well. His office — where no one was allowed to enter — was cluttered with furniture, a family heirloom desk from the 18th century, and a chandelier. But his studio was all-white and minimalist, making for a very pure atmosphere.--Ruth Mitchell

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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