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Fab Field Trip: The Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit at the De Young Museum, San Francisco

Thursday morning, I was enlightened. Since Yves Saint Laurent's death this past Summer, the fashion world has been paying tribute and speaking praise. Perhaps one of the best ways to do both is to showcase an extensive collection of the artist's work. And so, the de Young museum of San Francisco gave me a sneak peek of Yves Saint Laurent's highly anticipated exhibition, spanning 40 years and 130 ensembles. The exhibit is open to the public Saturday.

The most special guest was there: Pierre Bergé, Yves's partner and business associate since 1961. Pierre spoke to a small group of local press and was humble and heartfelt. His words about Yves tugged on my heartstrings and got me really excited to view the exhibition. "Today is the first collection after his death." He referred to Yves as "one of the greatest of our time." He pointed out that "in our world women are more and more important" and Yves recognized that. "The collection is just a part of Yves's work," reminding us of the 5,000 plus YSL pieces that are preserved and kept in Paris. Can you imagine? He also called San Francisco "a beautiful city" and was proud to have the foggy city house such a collection. Side note: Pierre was wearing an Obama pin.

To read more about my enlightenment and to see loads of wonderful Yves Saint Laurent creations,

As a fashion journalist, I am aware of the importance of Yves Saint Laurent. But personally, I haven't had much experience with the house's clothes. Yves showed his last collection in 2002. Only now can I actually purchase pieces from the house, but today's pieces aren't touched by the originator. I have admired vintage YSL, but no, I have never worn an original Yves Saint Laurent. My enlightenment emerged upon viewing precious pieces from "Le Smoking," his homage to Africa collection, the famous Mondrian dress, and representations from his Ballets Russes collection. These were all familiar, as seen in textbooks and pictures, but in real life they are incredible.

The massive collection, curated in an organized yet unique fashion, made my head spin. Another realization was how many of today's designers draw inspiration from these ideas that were presented decades ago. I saw Giambattista Valli in a voluminous LBD, Armani in sleek beaded evening wear, Marc Jacobs in quirky party dresses, Michael Kors in jetsetting separates. YSL Haute Couture was presented through a glass display, and videos and runways shows played throughout. It was a YSL feast for the eyes.

While everything impressed, I had a few favorites I went back to admire a couple more times. First off, the body revealed collection of evening dresses. Yves pushed the envelope with revealing flesh, but he did so with taste. These are key examples. The Africana pieces were super fun; the intricate beading and the exotic cuts were stunning. This famous knit wedding gown made me chuckle. Lastly, his art inspired pieces were pretty magnificent.

This exhibit is both a proper homage and a destination for any fashion lover. On this spooky holiday, this Yves quote felt rather fitting: “My profession is the loving dialogue of this naked woman with all the magic spells of the wrapping of my fabrics.” Consider me spellbound.


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Around The Web
Join The Conversation
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
I just saw it today. It was fab!
KaiaSF1 KaiaSF1 7 years
Ladies: Join ArtPoint in celebrating the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, from 7.30-11.30pm on Thursday, November 13. The party will feature designer drinks, desserts, and dancing in Wilsey Court. VIP guests are invited to a pre-party with a private exhibition tour, appetizers, cocktails and evening-long access to the VIP lounge with in the Tower. VIP guests leave with a very special gift from YSL. Honorary Fashion Committee: Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Santino Rice, and Vivienne Westwood. Attire: Cocktail Party Couture Event Details: Thursday, November 13, 2008 7:30 - 11:30 pm Event Tickets: Presale tickets can be purchased online: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/44766 or by calling 415-750-3548.
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 7 years
I have to go to this I think I am going to go wit my sister yipee!!
miche1082 miche1082 7 years
this was amazing! major kudos!
couture-yourself couture-yourself 7 years
I'm definitely going to have to check this out.
texasheart texasheart 7 years
going on Sunday - can't wait!
espelina espelina 7 years
I'm visiting friends in SF again soon, I'm so glad I know about this now! Thanks Fabsugar!
Ineedclarity Ineedclarity 7 years
I'm visiting my friend in March. I will check it out. :-)
cnyc1a cnyc1a 7 years
cant' wait i'm going
lizlee89 lizlee89 7 years
I want to see this - too bad San Fran is 8 hours away, but maybe next time I go (I love SF)...
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i'm SO JEALOUS - i wish that this would come to the met here for an exhibition. anyone know if there's any chance of that happening?
mommie mommie 7 years
Can't wait to see this exhibit. Great photos FAB.
mommie mommie 7 years
db849. glad you read the whole piece. Maybe Fab was surprised to see that pin statement at such an event. So what? I can't wait to see the collection.
Juicylemon Juicylemon 7 years
I saw the exhibition in Montreal. I was mezmerized by the section devoted to the design inspired by different countries and continents (Japan, Russia, Africa, India, Spain...). Usually when I think of YSL I always think of sleek, white pant suit. Now, I realize how he liked to use rich colors. So beautiful. Another favorite of mine was the Wedding dress inspired by William Shakespeare.
emalove emalove 7 years
So cool...
nourhayaty nourhayaty 7 years
wow wish i was there
db849 db849 7 years
The collection is AMAZING! Wow! But, side note: what does it matter or even bear reporting what type of pin Pierre was wearing. A type of broach is worth mentioning in a fashion piece, partisan politics isn't.
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