Review: “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style” at The Seattle Art Museum
Last Friday I was honored to preview the Seattle Art Museum’s fall 2016 exhibit “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style.” And perfection it was. Seattle’s most stylish patrons were treated to a presentation by the exhibit’s sponsors with an opportunity to wander through the 110 piece exhibit. It is known that Yves Saint Laurent is one of the world’s preeminent fashion designers and, I have to tell you, that “The Perfection of Style” showcases his legacy in a way that allows the viewer to connect with the designer’s work in a very unique way.
What visitors might find most intriguing is that Laurent’s designs are showcased through several thematic groupings; my favorites being The Celebrity Couturier, The Genders and The Pop Movement. The exhibit’s curator, Florence Muller in collaboration with SAM’s deputy director of art, Chiyo Ishikawa, no doubt created these “collections” to intrigue the guest and offer different lenses from which to experience Lauent’s perspective on fashion and the women he dressed. His designs reflect the ever-changing world he lived through; from the upheaval of the fashion hierarchy of the late sixties to pop culture encapsulated by his famous Mondrian dress (also on display).
It is one thing to experience a fashion designer’s work. It is an entirely different sensation to see how it was conceived. Throughout “The Perfection of Style” I had the opportunity to see original sketches and mood boards preserved for such an occasion by the Foundation Pierre Berge Yves Saint Laurent. Being able to see how the designer put together colors and fabrics gives insight into his brilliance. It is the creation story for his iconic designs and the satisfaction of being able to experience that is immeasurable.
The bottom line is this exhibit is a must see. Be sure to block out several hours before January 8th for a visit because it is rare that Seattle receives such a comprehensive fashion experience. For me, the perfection of this exhibit is not only the clothes but also the idea that a man so perceptive of the world around him can create such perfect style.