Tuesday, 29 September 2015

YSL Style Is Eternal

At the end of July I paid a visit to The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham. Here for the first time an Yves Saint Laurent exhibition was taking place outside France!  The Museum had managed to persuade Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris to loan 50+ outfits for a retrospective of the couturier's work.  I was thrilled!  I had just seen a very small exhibit of the YSL Scandalous Collection at the Fondation in Paris and I was so impressed by the quality of the couture that the exhibition nearer to home was a must.
The purpose built Bowes Musuem

Entering the exhibition you first see a video of YSL's work on the cat-walk.  You then go through to the first room of couture delights.  The museum has carefully paired YSL's work with their own fashion collection in 6 cabinets in this room under titles such as Haute Couture, Transparence, Spectaculaire for example.
This 1970s Transparence dress has a Chantilly Lace 
back and was the dress used in the photo used for 
the Museum's advertising campaign. 

This is the Broken Mirror haute couture evening jacket 
and skirt - you cannot see the embellishment on the back of 
the velvet jacket in this photo but the gold embroidery on 
the front is by Lesage and quite beautiful.

A close up of some of the hats on show.

There were lots of design sheets on display with cloth swatches 
pinned on them- I found these fascinating to see up close.
Another side room showed the toile mock ups for various 
designs, even these were precisely made.

This cabinet showcased the trimmings - buttons and sequins etc 
as well as a lovely beaded scarf/shawl.

Every kind of button possible seemed to be here!
This collage photo shows closes ups of the amazing embroidery 
samples which were on display.
In the room of toiles were these 3 heavily beaded jackets.  
The work in these was phenomenal as I hope you can 
see from the collage of the floral jacket details.  Obviously these 
3 jackets would all very heavy hence why they are displayed 
lying flat and I dread to think what they cost!!
Proceeding through to the second room of exhibits there 
were several distinct themed areas to see - this is the Art area where 
you will find works inspired by artists such as Mondrian.

Here you can see some of the details.

Beautiful sequin doves adorned the back of this cape.

The famous Mondrian Dress - but note the 2 
behind as well with lips and a heart.
This section was Haute Couture and my favourite
section of the whole exhibition.
My favourite dress of the exhibition is this 1959 Cascade 
creation by YSL for Dior

And this raspberry coloured dress with tulle is the 
1958 Zepherine YSL for Dior and was kindly loaned 
by the Palais Galliera (one of my favourite haunts)
in Paris for this exhibition.
In the next section called Masculin/Feminin were some 
superb examples of tailoring.  The needlework is so sharp!

Opposite you find Transparence which shows
YSL's creations using very see through materials.  
Not sure I would (could) wear one of these!!!
The final section is Spectaculaire with very
theatrical creations.
I really liked this display! It is SS1990 Homage
to Zizi a black organza sequinned sweater
with embroidery again by Lesage - not that
you could see it as it was too far away

The exhibition was really well curated and I 
enjoyed the groupings of designs.
It was hard to leave the exhibition so I back 
tracked a bit and revisited some of the dresses 
to view the detail - here another example of 
beautiful bead work.

This 1970s Charleston dress was 
fabulously beaded and sequinned as well.

Lovely photos were dotted around to
add to the enjoyment.

As well as various articles and video vignettes.

If you want to catch the exhibition you have until 25 October 2015 before it finishes.  The Bowes Museum itself is worth a visit and has a fabulous musical automaton silver swan which is wound up and played every day at 2pm.  The only other automaton of its kind is the Peacock at The State Hermitage in St Petersburg Russia.

Bowes Museum - www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

The Museum's blog is well worth a read too for behind the scenes info here

Fondation Pierre Berge - website here

Palais Galliera Paris - website here

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Hermes FSH Summer Windows

I was in Paris in July and the windows at Hermes FSH had taken on a summery theme - my photos are not brilliant as it was very sunny so there were a lot of reflections, but hopefully you can get the gist of what was on view.  I think the photos are self explanatory so hope you can enjoy!