Exhibition at the museum

Yves Saint Laurent in Museums

From January 29th to May 15th, 2022 -
Musée d'Orsay
Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
75007 Paris
Map & itinerary
© Fondation PBYSL
YVES SAINT LAURENT IN MUSEUMS is an anniversary exhibition in a new format taking place in six Paris museums: the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée National Picasso-Paris, and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. It illustrates the continuity and the deep link that the designer has woven with French art and public collections.

YVES SAINT LAURENT IN MUSEUMS celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first Yves Saint Laurent runway show. On January 29, 1962, the 26-year-old designer presented his inaugural collection under his own name. From that day on, Saint Laurent seized upon a vision and a style that became his staple throughout his career and until 2002, forty years in which he broke down barriers and introduced bold new forms.


Through his models, a whole culture, a whole artistic universe expressed itself. Because in his creative power, Yves Saint Laurent reinvented, with rigor and fantasy, the entire artistic heritage of the world. With this in mind, this vast exhibition project envisions the creation of Yves Saint Laurent as traversed by different cultures and temporalities.


Conceived and made possible by the Fondation Pierre Bergé — Yves Saint Laurent, YVES SAINT LAURENT IN MUSEUMS will foster a dialogue between a selection of garments, including some of the couturier’s most iconic designs, as well as beautiful discoveries less known to the public, and the permanent collections of six prominent Parisian museums. Thus, this project traces Yves Saint Laurent's unique creative journey while celebrating the arts of the world. The tentacular scale of the project makes it possible to link the world of Yves Saint Laurent with other artistic realms.


At the Centre Pompidou, in the heart of the Musée national d'art moderne the tour approaches the work of Yves Saint Laurent as that of an artist deeply rooted in his time and as a witness to the evolution of artistic creation in the 20th century. An absolute master of this period, Picasso holds a special place in the work of the designer as evidenced by the games of quotations offered at the Musée National Picasso-Paris. Sensitive to the correspondences between the arts, Yves Saint Laurent never ceased juggling between rhythms and colors, lights and materials, as seen in the dialogues presented at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, where monumental rooms alternate with more intimate spaces. At the Louvre Museum, the designer's fascination with light, with gold - the color of the sun - with the decorative arts, but also and above all with great pageantry, is honored in the Galerie d'Apollon. However, all these mutually influencing paths cannot be understood without questioning the role and place that Marcel Proust held in the imagination of the fashion designer. This Proustian passion, as well as the question of gender through male-female dress codes, will be explored at the Musée d'Orsay.


Echoing the masterpieces presented in the permanent collections of the partner museums, part of the fashion house's archives - carefully gathered by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent - are presented at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris.


Mostly unpublished, these archives allow us to follow the making of the designs, to feel the pulse of the fashion house, to understand the creative process as well as to pay tribute to all those who participated in the realization of the couturier’s pieces. These archives, as well as various museum exhibits, allow us to retrace Yves Saint Laurent's creative and unique career. Conceived as an archipelago, the exhibition proposes new forms of dialogue and encourages visitors to create their own tour from one museum to another, letting them enter into previously unknown or new spheres. It is also about going beyond the traditional framework of an exhibition, playing with networks of affinities, creating vibrational spheres, all in the service of offering a new look at the works of Yves Saint Laurent.


Exhibition presented at the Salon de l'horloge and in Room 41

The exhibition is now over.

See the whole program