Seattle Art Museum and Yves Saint Laurent
Who sees quilting inspiration in this piece like I do?
Recently, my daughter and I went to see the Seattle Art Museums exhibit of Yves Saint Laurent’s body of design work. Entitled “The Perfection of Style“, it is a visual timeline of YSL, an important part of fashion history (and now). It presented not only many many of his classic designs, but also showed his many line sheets, swatch cards, sample print cards, and quick drawings of pieces he would eventually turn into designs. A true look into the mind of a creative genius.
As a teenager, he created paper dolls, using images of famous models, such as Suzy Parker, which he cut from magazines. He then created dress designs to fit the paper dolls. He was bullied as a child and was always happiest left to his own elaborate fantasy world drawing, designing, and creating comic-type books.
It was so inspiring to see these pieces up close and learn more about his work.
He really began the tuxedo look for women.
The bottle style he envisioned for his fragrance, Opium.
Pieces from his Ballet Russes collection from 1976.
There were many fabric swatches, samples, and toiles. These are like the muslin version of sample garment. I have a short video on Instagram of this room, which was beautiful. Right after college, I spent my professional life, working in the apparel design and merchandising field for a number of years. Swatch cards and lab dip color standards were some of my most important “tools”. Those tiny little pieces were sacred. You see, until you had actual yardage, those little pieces were likely all you had to establish a “standard”. The standard by which the entire production of the garment would be created by. I still get a little excited whenever I see swatch cards, because those were always the start of something exciting. There were tons of these in the exhibit, arranged by color and tone.