‘Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient’, from travels to collections
Since his discovery of Japan in 1963, the designer kept being inspired by Asia as shown in an exhibition held in Paris in 2019.
‘Evening ensembles, Autumn-Winter 1994 Haute Couture collection’ © Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris / Sophie Carre
In its first thematic temporary exhibition held in 2019, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris offered visitors a retrospective of the French fashion designer’s work during the period in which Asian influences were at the heart of his creations. Yves Saint Laurent discovered the wonders of Kyoto in 1963. In 1977, he paid homage to imperial China with his runway show Les Chinoises, then five years later he began taking inspiration from India.
A creation nurtured by frequent travels to Asia
Thus, he reworked and sublimated Japanese kimono, royal Indian coats, and traditional Chinese garments. These reinterpretations, with cascades of silk and elaborate motifs, highlight the impact of Asian influences in his career.
From Japan to India and China, the exhibition Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient showcased around 50 haute couture silhouettes inspired by the designer’s extensive travels. Presented for the first time in public, these pieces were displayed alongside numerous artefacts loaned by the Guimet Museum (MNAAG, the national Asian art museum) and private collectors. Visitors thus discovered never-before-seen photos, jewellery, and sketches.
Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient (2019), an exhibition of creations by Yves Saint Laurent, was held by the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.
‘Yves Saint Laurent, Illustration sketch for the Autumn-Winter 1977 Haute Couture collection’. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris
‘Yves Saint Laurent, Illustration sketch’. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris
‘Yves Saint Laurent, Research sketch for the launch of Opium, circa 1977’. Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris
‘Evening ensemble, Autumn-Winter 1977 Haute Couture collection’ © Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris / Sophie Carre
‘Yves Saint Laurent and a courtesan wearing traditional garments during his first trip to Kyoto, Japan, April 1963’ © Rights reserved
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