Fashion in Paris: Why you should visit Musée Yves Saint-Laurent


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Luc Castel
© Luc Castel

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 8 March 2024

Passionate about haute-couture and curious to discover the work of the man with the 3 iconic letters YSL? Then head to 5 avenue Marceau in Paris, the legendary address of his fashion house, where the Yves Saint-Laurent museum opened its doors in October 2017. It's a tribute to the work of the great French designer, who started out at Dior in 1957. Here are 5 good reasons to visit this temple of haute couture.

Applaud the exhibitions, echoes between the genius of YSL and the contemporary world

Each new temporary exhibition presents a selection of dozens of carefully chosen creations that highlight a facet of YSL's genius. Very often, these exhibitions also include works by other artists from the contemporary world in order to highlight the extraordinary modernity of the work of the couturier, one of the most important creators of the 20th century. This is particularly true of the recent exhibitions, which have established a dialogue between YSL's creations and those of Claudia Wieser (2023-2024) and Betty Catroux (2020-2021).

Rediscover a legendary address

Unless you're lucky enough to be one of Yves Saint-Laurent's haute couture clients, you probably don't know Avenue Marceau 5. It was here, in a Second Empire mansion a stone's throw from the Seine and the Pont de l'Alma, that the designer created his collections for almost 30 years, between 1974 and 2002. In the large workshops, almost 200 tailors and seamstresses brought his creations to life. Jacques Grange and Nathalie Crinière designed and decorated the showrooms. A legendary place for haute couture...

Understanding the creative process

The haute couture salons and design studio where Yves Saint-Laurent worked are open to the public. It's an opportunity to discover the genius of the master and the process of creating a haute couture collection. As well as clothes and accessories, the museum aims to bear witness to 20th century haute couture and a way of life that has endured.

Fulfilling the master's wishes

When asked if posterity was important to him, Yves Saint-Laurent replied: *Yes, I want my clothes and designs to be studied in a hundred years' time. There's no question of waiting a century to pay tribute to the master, who died in 2008 at the age of 72. There is no doubt that his iconic pieces, from the women's tuxedo to the safari jacket and the famous Mondrian dress, will continue to inspire generations of fashion-conscious designers and women for many years to come.

Meet his most famous fans

Yves Saint-Laurent has a huge cult following, starting with artists. One of his most loyal friends and admirers was Catherine Deneuve. The French actress always wore his clothes, in his films and in life. Throughout the museum, the Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation displays the designer's work for the cinema and portraits of him by the greatest painters and photographers: Bernard Buffet, Andy Warhol, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Jeanloup Sieff... Or when art inspires art.

Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint-Laurent's companion since 1958 and President of the Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint-Laurent, supported this museum project for several years. He died in September 2017, less than a month before the opening of the museum, and was unfortunately unable to attend the inauguration. Nevertheless, the museum bears witness to the legacy of two men who dedicated their lives to creation.

Recommendations and advice Are you a fashion and styling fan? Then you've come to the right place! Would you like to organise a trip to discover the many fashion venues in Paris? If possible, choose a stay outside the school holidays to make the most of the capital. You'll have a wider choice of accommodation and prices are often lower. When it comes to getting around the city, it's best to opt for public transport and soft mobility solutions. This way, you can avoid the stress of traffic jams and help preserve the region's air quality. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the capital of fashion and luxury!

Find out more * Discover the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum * Visit the website of the Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation


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