The highly anticipated Yves Saint Laurent Museum opens today in Paris. Musement shares 5 things to know about city’s newest must-see attraction!
France’s first museum devoted to the genius of one of the world’s most iconic fashion designers will open its doors in Paris: the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Located in the sixteenth arrondissement, the museum retraces the designer’s journey to showcase his creativity and how he made fashion history. Yves Saint Laurent literally broke the mold and revolutionized women’s fashion by designing clothing that was exclusive to menswear at the time. Like Coco Chanel, Saint Laurent empowered women through his designs. Thanks to him, we have the classic tailored suit, celebrated tuxedo, wide blouse, timeless trench coat and of course the emblematic Saharienne.
The Yves Saint Laurent museum highlights pretty much anything one could ever want to know about the fashion legend. Here are five things to know about the museum.
1. The museum is located in the designer’s former studio
The YSL Museum is located at 5 avenue Marceau, where Saint Laurent himself conceived, designed and produced his clothing. The studio’s original character and charm is accentuated through permanent thematic presentations and, starting in 2018, temporary exhibitions. The museum’s personal vibe enables visitors to examine the designer’s creative process of by immersing themselves in Saint Laurent’s universe. To make the visit even more personal, it is possible to book a private after hours visit. (Available in English starting in April 2018.) Below: Loulou de La Falaise at 5 avenue Marceau, in front of the atelier that is now the museum.
2. The museum is an overhaul of the Pierre Bergé Foundation – Yves Saint Laurent
The YSL museum houses objects that were collected and preserved by the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation followng the couture house’s closing. When Yves Saint Laurent put down his pencils and needles in 2002, he and Bergé decided to archive the rich artistic heritage of his 40-year career. It was thus a way to celebrate memories, a true passion of Pierre Bergé who had always had a soft spot in his heart for nostalgia. Their projects, such as the foundation and exhibition, have grown more ambitious with the new museums. In total, the Foundation has carefully maintained 5,000 fashion looks (4,000 couture creations and 1,000 ready-to-wear creations) and 150,000 accessories, drawings, preliminary sketches, objects and a documentary that reflects Yves Saint Laurent’s creativity. Below: A sampling of the many hats preserved at @museeyslparis by the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.
3. A museum is also opening in Marrakech
Believe it or not, the Paris museum’s spacious 4,850+ square feet (450 m2) does not have enough room to properly serve as a testament to Yves Saint Laurent’s career. Sixteen days after the opening of the Paris museum, a second YSL museum will open its doors in Marrakech. “It was natural to build a museum in Morocco dedicated to the work of Yves Saint Laurent who owes so much to this country, even in the colors and cuts of his clothing designs,” explained Pierre Bergé.
The 43,000+ square foot (4,000 m2 museum) boasts an auditorium and research library in addition to the permanent and temporary exhibition halls. The museum is located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent of course, just a few steps from the Majorelle Garden, one of Marrakech’s most visited sites. Saint Laurent and Bergé saved the garden from a hotel construction project that would have completely demolished Jacques Majorelle’s beautiful creation. Below: The inner courtyard of the YSL museum in Marrakech.
4. The importance of Pierre Bergé
A life lived together as empire builders: Yves Saint Laurent would never have accomplished his career without Pierre Bergé, and vice versa. A businessman and politician as well as an arts patron and important society figure, Pierre Bergé was Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career companion. He worked hard for years to preserve Saint Laurent’s artistic legacy with the creation of the Foundation, exhibitions and now the two dedicated museums. Bergé sadly passed away on 8 September, before being able to witness the inauguration of this projects he held so close to his heart, but the legacy he helped build will live on forever. Below: Pierre Bergé
5. A museum that reproduces the designer’s whole universe
Architect Nathalie Crinière and decorator Jacques Grange have set a specific goal: To reconstitute the authentic atmosphere of the creative house where Yves Saint Laurent and his models were inspired and worked daily while also paying homage to the 145 dressmakers who worked among the five workshops. The designer’s spirit is alive in the mansion’s walls, which encompass the warm, elegant ambiance created by Criniere. In addition the designer’s clothes are on display in the former haute couture salons, among which is the famous “Mondrian” dress.
Saint Laurent’s creative studio is also integrated into the exhibit. Restored almost identically, his office is is totally preserved with various small objects and sketches, as if the designer himself had just left. His glasses sit nonchalantly on the desk, his dog Moujik’s water bow is below the table and his white blouse is folded on the chair as to signify that a great couturier is also a craftsman. Works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Mondrian, and other artists who inspired Saint Laurent, are also exhibited in the museum. Below: three versions of the famous “Mondrian” dress.
Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris
5 avenue Marceau – 75116 Paris
Tuesday – Sunday: 11.00am – 6.00pm; Friday open until 9.00pm
Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech
Rue Yves Saint Laurent
40090 Marrakech, Morocco