To celebrate the release of the Yves Saint Laurent DVD (it’s out on July 14 but you can pre-order your copy now FYI) we hopped on the Eurostar and headed to Paris to take a tour of the iconic designers stomping ground.
First up, the Fondation Pierre Berge – Yves Saint Laurent on the Avenue Marceau. Slap bang next to the Seine, the grand townhouse housed Yves’ and his business partner and lover Pierre Berge’s couture house from 1974, before being turned into the Fondation. An archive and art gallery, it houses 5,000 Haute Couture garments, 15,000 Haute Couture accessories and more than 50,000 drawings. Basically, a huge slice of fashion history.
Upon arrival, we were ushered into the couture salon, where customers would come to try on the haute designs. Decked out with ginormous chandeliers, gilded mirrors, plush carpets and baroque sofas, it oozes luxury to this day and you could totally imagine wealthy Parisian fashionista’s doing a twirl in one of Yves iconic Le Smoking suits.
Next, we headed into Yves’ actual studio. Perfectly preserved, the beautiful airy room with its floor to ceiling windows is exactly as it was when Yves was alive. Shelves are lined with books, reams of fabric are piled up and mannequins showcase his iconic designs. A ruler and stick belonging to Christian Dior – who Yves’ worked for before launching his own label – take pride of place on the desk, and folders filled with his beautiful sketches are piled up. Photographs of fittings from his most iconic collections adorn the walls, along with images of his famous loyal customers like Catherine Deneuve.
After poring over his sketches and perusing the gift shop were we stocked up on YSL ‘Love’ cards – posters designed by Yves that he would send out to a “happy few” at the end of the year – we headed to the designers favourite restaurant, Brasserie Balzar for lunch. Surrounded by Parisian’s, you could totally imagine Yves and Pierre sitting down to steak tartare and a glass of vin rouge. Full of delicious French fare, we headed back to Gare Du Nord, sad that our fleeting but fabulous French fashion adventure was over.
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Yves Saint Laurent is out on DVD next month on 14th July from Entertainment One
By Gemma Gow
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