I am so fortunately to live near one of the best museums in the country and I don't have to go to a big city to visit it. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts doesn't often rank in a top 25 list of best museums but it won't be long before it actually gets the recognition that I believe it deserves. It is often cited as the only museum on the East Coast to get a particular exhibit and that is the case for the current Yves Saint Laurent exhibit.
The VMFA does costume exhibits pretty regularly and I was excited to see this one. If you are interested in fashion in any way and you can get to Richmond VA this summer, this particular one is not to be missed.
One thing I loved about this exhibit is the amount of information presented on the designer, himself. This exhibit shows the value of nurturing talent early. YSL started his career at a young age making paper doll fashions from magazines and his own drawings. He was in his teens when he did these and his natural talent is clear.
This is part of a book illustration that he also did at a young age.
Another very cool part of the exhibit are these design boards. (I'm sure they call them something else). There are several of these for every collection showing a drawing of the garment, fabric swatches, notes and the garment number for the show.
They had 2 from every year that he presented collections. It was fun to walk them in chronological order to see how the color palettes and silhouettes changed. I also spent a lot of time looking at particular garments and then coming back to the boards to see how that garment fit into the collection for that year.
There is a section on how the garments come together including information on how prints are designed, selected and used.
Samples of lino blocks for printing fabrics.
Collections of hat forms that are art on their own.
A cool display on embroidery and showing how they used the toile and paper to show how a garment will be embellished.
And lots of very large jewelry!
There are 102 garments in the exhibit and I particularly loved this section with garments presented in color themes.
Each color section has a back display of swatch pages presented in a gradient.
He designed a number of dresses as homages to different artists or art movements. I think that Mondrian dress has to be one of his most famous.
The first time I looked at this one I didn't even catch that it was a body silhouette. I just thought the lines were cool.
If I could have 1 garment from the collection it would be this coat.
I wonder what Chris would say if I made us matching outfits in purple crushed velvet?
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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