Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yves Saint Laurent - Classicism and Transgression - A Talk by Laurent Cotta at the Bata Shoe Museum

Yves Saint Laurent Pant Suits
Laurent Cotta, the fashion historian, curator and genius behind this summer's Madame Gres exhibition in Paris and the 18th Century in Contemporary Fashion at the Grand Trianon in Versailles (among his many other accomplishments) spoke last night at the Bata Shoe Museum about Yves Saint Laurent.

Monsieur Cotta explained how Yves Saint Laurent combined elements of classicism and transgression in his designs for women, reviewing Yves Saint Laurent's career from his early days at Dior through the 1960s and 1970s. This period was a pivotal time in the history of contemporary fashion for women and Saint Laurent led the way. Yves Saint Laurent believed in comfort, ease and elegance for women and was innovative in his designs  - often achieving a heightened degree of femininity through the seemingly paradoxical use of masculine attire like "le smoking" and the pant suit.

I took copious notes as my thesis will be about the radical changes in fashion for women in the 1960s. I also asked Monsieur Cotta what he was working on for next year. Although the Gallera Musee de la Mode et du Costume  is closed for renovations until 2013, he said he was working on an exhibition about the History of Haute Couture and also an exhibition on the private archives of Balenciaga. These exhibitions will be shown at other venues in Paris next summer and I will look forward to seeing them.

But first to Iowa where I will close my speech with a quote from Pierre Berge about fashion and art.
"I don't know if fashion is art, but it needs an artist to make it."

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