Inspiration from the Fondation Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent

A new online archive of inspiration images from fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has recently been launched.

A prize-winning design for a cocktail dress caught the eye of the Dior fashion house in 1954 and the teenage Yves Saint Laurent's career in Paris was assured.

Yves Saint Laurent as a teenager in 1954

A prize-winning design for a cocktail dress caught the eye of the Dior fashion house in 1954 and the teenage Yves Saint Laurent’s career in Paris was assured. In association with Pierre Bergé, whom he had met in 1958, Yves Saint Laurent decided to create his own couture house and his first collection was presented in 1962 in Paris. Yves Saint Laurent is credited with the invention of the modern woman’s wardrobe: the pea-jacket and trenchcoat in 1962, the first tuxedo in 1966, the safari jacket and the first trouser suit in 1967, the first transparent effects and the first jumpsuit in 1968. By making use of male dress codes, he brought women self-assurance, audacity and power whilst preserving their femininity. Wishing to dress all women, not only rich haute couture clients, Yves Saint Laurent opened his Saint Laurent rive gauche boutique in 1966 in Paris, the first ready-to-wear boutique to bear a couturier’s name, thus paving the way to what has today become the fashion world.

YSLFrom the end of the 1950s and throughout his career Yves Saint Laurent also created costumes for theatre, ballet and cinema. He collaborated with Roland Petit, Claude Régy, Jean-Louis Barrault, Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut… and dressed Jean Marais, Zizi Jeanmaire, Arletty, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Adjani and Catherine Deneuve.

After his retirement from designing, Yves Saint Laurent devoted his energy to the activities of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, which was state-approved on 5th December 2002. While Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé always took care to preserve this important collection of fashion and sketches, the Fondation’s mission is now to conserve the 5,000 haute couture garments and 150,000 accessories, sketches and other objects making up the collection; to organise thematic exhibitions on fashion, painting, photography, the decorative arts, etc.; and to support cultural and educational activities.

The Fondation wanted all aspects of the archive to be accessible and as such set about digitizing the collection. Paper dolls, fashion sketches, sketches of costumes and sets for film, theater, ballet and music-hall, and also posters and a comic, will be made available on the website of the Foundation. Detailed instructions accompany each of these works and they are fully searchable.

Within the archive there is evidence of Yves Saint Laurent’s own inspiration. As early as 1965 Yves Saint Laurent paid tribute to artists in his haute couture collections with the famous Mondrian dresses, then in 1966 with the pop art dresses and in 1967 with his major homage to Africa. In the 1970s he presented his Picasso and Diaghilev collections and tributes to Matisse, Cocteau, Braque, Van Gogh, Apollinaire in the 1980s.

There is also the opportunity to dress your own doll, just like Yves Saint Laurent did when compiling his collections! The archive still holds the collection of paper dolls, clothes and accessories he made between 1953 and 1955. There is also some excellent information about how the team cares for and conserves the collection. The website’s default language is set to French but is easily changeable to English, so get browsing!

Yves Saint Laurent and Paper dolls, Paris, 1957 Photography François Pagès © François Pagès / Paris Match / Scoop

Yves Saint Laurent and Paper dolls, Paris, 1957
Photography François Pagès
© François Pagès / Paris Match / Scoop

Advertisements

Your opportunity to Meet the Archivists

meet the archivistsMeet the Archivists: Unlocking the research potential of business archives for artists, architects and designers

The Business Archives Council of Scotland is holding its 2nd Meet the Archivists workshop on Friday 20th September at the Edinburgh College of Art.

This year the focus is on creative and design use of business archives. So this event is aimed at college of art students, architectural and design students but all students are welcome to attend.

The aim of this event is to bring together archivists, academics and this year artists to discuss and explore with students how business archive collections can be used for their research. Glasgow School of Art’s Archivist Susannah Waters will be discussing Arts organisations’ archives in Glasgow with a focus on Glasgow School of Art and the Centre for Contemporary Arts.

The programme will feature talks from archivists and artists on the projects inspired by or that have made use of archive collections:

  • Cabinets, drawers and dark places – the artist’s perfect resource – Bartholomew Archive, National Library of Scotland
  • The Illustrated Archive – The John Gray Centre
  • The Sir Basil Spence Archive – Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  • Stoddard-Templeton Archive: inspiring new works – University of Glasgow
  • Heriot-Watt Textile Archive – Heriot-Watt University
  • Arts organisations’ archives in Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art and the Centre for Contemporary Arts – Glasgow School of Art
  • Drawing, Painting, Designing and Creating the Story: Research and Inspiration in the Art College Archive – Edinburgh College of Art

There will also be an discussion panel in the afternoon and over lunchtime an opportunity to meet and chat with archivists about their collections, plus practical demonstrations of how to find business archive collections online. A series of animation shorts inspired by the Edinburgh College of Art Archive will be screened over lunch.

A full detailed programme is available on the Scottish Council of Archives website http://www.scottisharchives.org.uk/discover/awareness/workingarchive/events/meetarchivists

To register for this free event, please visit the following link: http://meetthearchivists.eventbrite.co.uk/

BACS Meet the Archivists workshop for artists, architects and designers

thumb_989__master-feature-image

The Business Archives Council of Scotland is holding its 2nd Meet the Archivists day on Friday 20th September at the Edinburgh College of Art.

The aim of the Meet the Archivists event is to bring together academics and archivists to discuss and explore with students how business archive collections can be used for their research. This year they are focusing on creative and design use of business archives, so the event is primarily aimed at college of art students, architectural and design students.

working-archive-logo-transparent-largeThe workshop is part of the current Working Archive campaign to increase awareness of the importance of business archives. You can find out more in our previous blog post about the campaign and the coinciding Scotland at Work exhibition, and on the Working Archive blog.

Further details will be available soon on the Scottish Council on Archives website. We’ll keep you posted!

Fashion illustrator Julie Verhoeven creates new work inspired by the British Library

Illustrator Julie Verhoeven, famed for the bright and cheerful illustrations that have coloured numerous well known brand’s advertising campaigns such as H&M, Lancome and M.A.C., has recently created some new artwork (below) inspired by the British Library’s magazines collection and wildlife sounds. The new piece was created especially for the Spring Festival 2013 (which celebrates music, fashion and fun inspired by the Library’s collections).

6a00d8341c464853ef017c37640842970b-800wiDuring an event at the British Library, Verhoeven spoke about where she gets her inspiration from. She started the event by spreading magazine covers, comics, pieces of fabric, clothing and photographs across the floor for everyone to see (her favourites were Misty comics and Smash Hits). She mentioned her love of libraries and archives as a place for inspiration – to find serendipity and visual stimuli at a fast pace.

6a00d8341c464853ef017c3764194a970b-800wi

Visit Verhoeven’s website and her blog. See also the British Library’s excellent Cultural Industries blog, from which we heard about this story, for more details.