The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House

The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House
The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House
The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House
The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House
The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House
The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House

“Photo credits - Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris”

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris opened on October 3, 2017 and is located in the legendary hôtel particulier at 5 avenue Marceau where Yves Saint Laurent spent nearly thirty years designing his collections from 1974 to 2002. The same building serves as the headquarters of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. Across 450 m2, an ever-changing rotation of retrospective displays and temporary thematic exhibitions presents the Fondation’s rich and unique collection.

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris is the first museum of this scale dedicated to the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest couturiers to open in the capital of fashion.

The Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House 

In 1974, the Yves Saint Laurent haute couture house, which had been located at 30 bis rue Spontini since it was established in 1961, moved to a hôtel particulier at 5 avenue Marceau dating back to the Second Empire. Yves Saint Laurent would go on to spend nearly thirty years there pursuing his career as a couturier. The haute couture house, which its qualified staff helped to become a symbol of excellence and savoir-faire, was animated by the studio where Saint Laurent worked with six or seven collaborators and the haute couture ateliers where his designs were executed by nearly two hundred tailors and seamstresses. In the salons on the ground floor, clients were individually welcomed by their personal saleswomen after the collections were presented so that they could place orders for the designs of their choice. During a press conference on January 7, 2002, Saint Laurent announced his intention to cease his career as a couturier and close the haute couture house. Two years later following extensive renovation of the building, the Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent opened its doors.

 

A History of Fashion 

The luxurious decor of this vast room houses a selection of designs offering insight into Saint Laurent’s references and the evolution of specific silhouettes. There are ensembles inspired by Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Early Modern period, the nineteenth century, the 1910s, the 1920s, the 1930s, and the 1940s. Saint Laurent’s designs provide a glimpse of the whole history of fashion. 

 

Yves Saint Laurent’s Studio 

The studio, which was the designer’s haven, was the true heart of 5 avenue Marceau for nearly thirty years. This room contrasted with the sumptuous salons and offered the kind of atmosphere Saint Laurent needed to create: a bright, quiet, neutral space with a mirrored wall that allowed the couturier to watch his models during the fittings. The work table that belonged to Saint Laurent since 1962 still bears his personal objects, sketches, fabric swatches, embroidery samples, and photos evoking the atmosphere that reigned during the preparation of a collection.

 

The Life of the Haute Couture 

House Laurence Benaïm conducted approximately twenty interviews of the haute couture house’s former employees, thus collecting the memories of the people who contributed to it. In this room, six short films composed of these valuable accounts allow the public to understand how a haute couture collection was put together, from the sketch to the sale.

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