fashion changes, style remains

For those who can't make it to Montreal to see the Yves Saint Laurent "Love" retrospective, here is a peek at the creations on display there until September 28 (photography is strictly forbidden, but luckily everything from fabric swatches to feather coats have been documented in the hefty exhibit program)...

"All my dresses originate with a gesture. A dress that does not reflect or does not make one think of a gesture is not right. Once the gesture in question has been found, then one can choose the colour, the final shape, the fabrics, but not before". - YSL

Cocktail dress, 1964. Made to order for Grace Kelly.

Daytime ensemble, 1962. Made to order for the Duchess of Windsor.
Wedding gown, 1988.
"The naked body of a woman, whom I have to dress without curbing the freedom of her natural movements... my profession is the loving dialogue of this naked woman with all the magic spells of the wrapping of my fabrics" - YSL
A beautifully cut back is my favourite feature in a dress. This design from 1970 exposes the back in the shape of a lyre, appearing through a window of lace mesh.
Cocktail dress, 1966. Skirt-suit, 1967. Made for Françoise Giroud.Silk coat with embroidered lips, 1971. For Marisa Berenson.
Evening gown with embroidered hearts, 1980.

"Belle de Jour" dress. Worn by Catherine Deneuve in the 1967 film.

"A woman is only attractive in pants if she wears them with all her femininity. Not like a George Sand. Pants are coquettish, an additional charm, not a sign of equality or enfranchisement. Liberty and equality are not achieved by wearing breeches- they are a state of mind". - YSL

Tuxedo (without jacket), 1999.

Evening ensemble, 1973. Made to order for Lauren Bacall, Betty Catroux, Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Giroud. Tuxedo, 1991.

Tuxedo, 1968.
"On each street corner in Marrakech, you encounter groups that are impressive in their intensity, their relief. Men and women, where pink, blue, green, and violet caftans mingle. These groups look as if they have been drawn and painted, that are reminiscent of sketches by Delacroix, and it is suprising to say that they are, in fact, merely an improvisation on life." - YSL

Evening ensemble, 1988. Made to order for Nan Kempner.

Evening ensembles, 1989.

Evening ensemble, 1991. In tribute to Leon Bakst.

"I am very alone. I exercise my imagination on the lands that I do not know. I hate traveling. For example, if I read a book about India, with photographs, or about Egypt, where I have never been, my imagination runs wild. That is how I take my most wonderful trips." - YSL

"Bambara" dress, 1967.

Cocktail ensemble, 1977. Toreador costume, 1979.

Evening gown, 1979. This reminds me of the showstopping pink and black dress Anjelica Huston wore in Prizzi's Honour.

Day ensemble, 2000.

Ensembles from the Russian collection, 1976.

Evening gowns, 1986 and 1991.

"Red is the basis for makeup, it is the lips, the nails. Red is a noble colour, a colour of precious stones - the ruby - and it is a dangerous colour; sometimes you have to play with danger. Red is religious, and it is blood, and it is royal, it is phedra, and a multitude of heroines. Red light and red combat, red is combat between life and death." - YSL

Evening gown, 1987. Geometric patterned dresses, 1969 and 1979.
Mondrian cocktail dresses, 1965 and 1966.

Bust and waist sculpture gowns, 1969.Bridal gown, 1970.
Evening gown, 1988. In tribute to Georges Braque.
Evening ensembles, 1980. In tribute to Apollinaire and Aragon.

Evening gowns, 1998 and 2001.

Animal themed evening ensembles, 1964 and 1990.

Laetitia's bridal "gown", 1999.

Storage vaults I'd like to get lost in for a while...

For more photos, and better resolution, please click here.


Terren said...


montreal is definitely up there in my list of places to visit, but i doubt i'll make it there by sept. still, i'm definitely gonna try to get a copy of this!

p.s. i've missed your posts adeleine!

Alexandreena said...

Beautiful. Oh, how I wish I could make it.

Anonymous said...

I always hesitate investing on fashion books, all you can do most times is judge by its cover+ title, and sometimes the actual content can be disappointing but this one looks very promising, I am going to head out and order a copy.

Thanks so much for sharing a glimse of the content.

Snowberry and Lime said...

Thank you so much for this interesting entry! Great to see some pages of this book - it looks great!


la femme said...

terren: Thank you :) I've been much busier this summer than I had anticipated!

-h: Both of the sculptures are galvanized copper by Claude Lalanne. I know Verushka modelled his designs in the late 1960s, so it is very possible that they were molded for her body...

alexandreena: Which one? I'd quite like to have the Belle de Jour dress made...

connie: This one is very good - particularly if you have an interest in fashion from 1962 to 2002.

veronika: You're welcome :) Come back soon.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see this exhibition when it comes to San Francisco...

la femme said...

Are you crossing the pond this fall?

Anonymous said...

Yves Saint Laurent is a philosopher or sorts...

Claire said...

thank you for posting all that! x

laia. said...

these are amazing! thanks for the heads up... I'll be trying to get that book now.

Eyeliah said...

Fabulous post, I was enthralled the entire read.

Wanderlusting said...

Wow what a wonderful book. Half my friends live in Montreal - I just cant justify the flight costs though. For the same amount I can go to Hawaii! But I will make it over next year for a friend's wedding. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

WOW... this book is amazing!
and your blog too.

Anonymous said...

"Red is the basis for makeup, it is the lips, the nails

Sharon said...

Wish I could go too, but thanks for the peep.. the book really looks amazing

JellyGirl said...

I loved looking through all those beautiful sketches, thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Just because of this i think I'll be making a trip to Montréal. Good thing my sister lives close by in Ottawa... it justifies the trip! Merci La Femme!

The Clothes Project said...

Thank you for uploading the pictures. A friend of mine in Montreal has been commenting about the loveliness of the exhibition. Your pictures offers a glimpse of the display.

la femme said...

stellasteff: yes, I suppose he was.

lola: my pleasure!

laia: cool. you won't be disappointed.

hailey: :)

wanderlust finn: I'm jealous of how inexpensive Hawaii is from the West Coast!

anouk: merci.

kaicevy: I quite like that quote too.

sharon: :)

jellygirl: me too... I also like seeing the fabric swatches.

mercedes: enjoy!

clothes project: glad you liked them :)

Anonymous said...

I love the tributes to Braque, Apollinaire and Aragon.

I'm glad to see it, thanks to you!
This book will be in my library soon...

Anonymous said...

amazing... ça fait rêver. thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

So it's official, i'm skipping school for the exhibit!

Anonymous said...

What amazing, wonderful sketches. I adore the day outfit for the Duchess of Windsor, especially.

reneemudd said...

i want this book!

Catherine Marche said...

very nice fashion illustration
thanks for showing

Anonymous said...

i should buy this book
beutiful pics
i fell inspired

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the YSL book and content.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thanks so much for sharing the YSL book!!!