What to Wear, The deYoung Museum and Yves Saint Laurent

The YSL Vault

Every year I fumble through my closet and wonder what I have to wear for New Years Eve. And every year, I realize....I have nothing. Can you imagine having a closet full of haute couture clothes AND the places to wear them?! Not many can. And there is only one who had the imagination to fill a closet like that quite like Yves Saint Laurent.

Last weekend, I jumped in the car with family in tow to San Francisco for the day. The first thing on the schedule was the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park where an amazing exhibit of inspiring fashion representing the forty years of the Yves Saint Laurent Fashion House was on display. I could have stayed for hours. Dresses, coats, pant suits, jackets, shoes, hats.....what could be a more wonderful way to spend a cold winter day, but surrounded by the luxury of it all?

Yves Saint Laurent was particularly well known for redefining what a woman should/could wear. From the late 50's on, YSL was creating new silhouettes like the trapeze dress for women,and borrowing from men's wardrobes :the pea coat, the safari jacket, the trench and the pinstripe suit creating new classics that would eventually end up in every woman's wardrobe.

His imagination was limitless. Drawing inspiration from imaginary travels, art, literature, flora and fauna, YSL created a body of work that is hard to surpass.

African Inspiration

Russian Bohemian

Shakespearean Fantasy Wedding Gown

Ode to Picasso

Tribute to Matisse

Evening Gown with "Bust" sculpture in galvanized copper created by Claude Lalanne

Sequin "Scales" Evening Dress

Cape of Rooster Feathers

Ostrich Feather Gown

Evening Ensemble with Pheasant and Vulture Feathers

YSL loved glamour and a woman's body. His creations were meant to celebrate the feminine form sometimes baring all.

Spring Summer Cocktail Dress

Sheer Evening Dress with Ostrich Feathers

Evening Gown in Tribute to Marilyn Monroe

There was so much to see...I went through the exhibit three times while the rest of the family toured the rest of the deYoung. This is just a small smattering of the lusciousness. There are over 125 outfits fully accessorized with amazing attention to detail. Sketches of many of YSL's works, videos and a biographical life history brings it all to life.

The exhibit runs through the 5th of April for those of you in the Bay Area between now and then. To find out more click here and here. For those of you who cannot attend, I highly recommend this:

Available through Amazon, this book should be on your "must have" list. Full of beautiful photos and many many sketches that are not part of the exhibit, you can see the genius that was Yves Saint Laurent. It is a perfect way to celebrate the life and imagination of YSL. (1936-2008)

I want to give my most heartfelt thanks to all of you who have come to read katiedid this past year. You have provided such a great support and wonderful network of design loving friends. This coming year is no doubt going to be full of challenges for us all. Here's to handling all of the challenges with huge imagination, wit and a positive outlook. Cheers!