Viva.citY: “Rien n’est plus beau qu’un corps nu.” (Yves Saint Laurent)

31 May

Petit Palais – Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

11 MARS – 29 AOÛT 2010

“C’est en perfectionnant les vêtements essentiels – position merveilleuse -, que j’ai créé mon style, que je suis devenu ce que je suis, et que, par là, je dépasse la mode.” (Yves Saint Laurent)

May 2010:

It’s a rainy day in Paris, the City Of Lights shuts off the sun and wakes up her streets wet with sheer tears.

It’s a rainy day yet Paris runs, dances, sings, Paris breathes, thinks, talks, Paris shines and her museums, palaces of Culture, open their doors.

One Two Three Four Five Ten Hundred I stop counting, my eyes looking beyond the long long long queue of people waiting to get in. It is not any ordinary exhibition held at the Petit Palais (avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris – +33(0)1 53 43 4000 – Oh nOn! today, Yves Saint Laurent is hosting, his inconspicuous presence shadowing the 300 Haute Couture dresses, drawings, pictures displayed all along the rooms.

It is just beautiful. Incredible. It is an elegant jump, two feet first, no doubt, jump jump jump, into his WOrld. His oh-so legendary delicate shyness, his simplicity and his indubitable indulgence.

The Artist, the prince of Couture who whispered “I found in Art the foundation of aesthetics,” surrounded himself with wonders, cherishing Proust, Picasso and Bach, left behind a farandole of colours, textures, styles and beautiful words.

I walk through the rooms, my eyes wide opened, my grandmother holding my arm, words of joy poping out, her lips bubbling with comments, here, look! the gorgeous jet-black knot placed on tulle, the feathers appliquées on dark velvet, the folles colours blowing up, the famous Mondrian Dress, look! And I look, and I breathe “Saint Laurent Priez Pour Elles!” says the sign, oh oui! Saint Laurent, pray for Me, and my grandmother walks, and she turns, and she goes back, and I follow, jump jump jump into his WOrld, look! she says, and I look at The Smoking, the only one (but there is not one, Monsieur Saint Laurent how did you do? How can you reinvent and reinvent again the simplest black tuxedo in so many exquisite tuxedos? The secret of Talent)  – oh gracious! My body in this black satin, the lace on my shoulders nothing nothing nothing else, Marilyn slept in Chanel N°5 I could sleep in St Laurent Smoking Jumpsuit 1975, sweet dreams.

I don’t know what is the most overwhelming, his work of Art, the many dresses, prints, cuts which still inspire the WOrld, the simplicity of the character, his desk, two trestles and a long rectangular piece of white wood, his love and dedication to women or his passion for the society around him, his understanding of l’Air Du Temps.

She stops, my grandmother, her heart beating, in front of us, a wall of Tuxedos. It is overwhelming indeed. She says, look (I can’t remember one second without looking though). She says: “that is called ‘porter à cru’ (barebreast worn)” pointing a tuxedo jacket sensually opened on a bare chest. “Mademoiselle Chanel gave freedom to women, Yves Saint Laurent gave them power.”, you wonder.

Drawing (Tuxedos) Collection Spring-Summer 2000

Yves Saint Laurent – Maison Christian Dior – 1957

First Suit with Pants Collection Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1967

Wedding Dress Wool Knitted Collection Autumn-Winter 1965 - Picture Fouli Elia

Drawing - Inspiration Bambara - Collection Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1967

First African Collection - Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1967


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