If you have a little fashionista in you (like I do!) you are going to love what I discovered! The Bowes Museum in County Durham is currently exhibiting the work of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) in an exhibition called ‘Style is Eternal’.
When I was browsing Ticketmaster recently, I noticed this exhibition in the listings and it took me back to my days at the London College of Fashion, where we would study fashion appreciation and learn about the great designers. I regularly log into Ticketmaster to see what is coming up – did you see my recent post about the Roxette concert?
The YSL installation is on display from now until 25th October 2015 and is a rare opportunity to see his work up close. This is the first exhibition of his work in the UK and judging by what I saw when I visited, it has been extremely popular.
There are three rooms at the museum dedicated to YSL and entrance to the exhibition is allowed in timed slots each hour on the hour – to help manage the numbers of people through the displays. My advice – get there either really early or really late in the day as I arrived for the 11am slot and both it and the 12pm slot were heaving! There are no guided tours as such, the time slots are just to manage numbers but within the exhibition are several points where video is played and visitors would sit and watch the video of the catwalk shows or an interview with YSL himself.
Amongst the parts where people are congregating, there are static displays too with clothing to look at and information to read, but it can take some time to get to everything. I found myself waiting for others to clear the area before I could get in to see a particular exhibit several times, so be patient, wear comfy shoes and allow yourself the time to be able to immerse yourself in the beauty of his clothing and admire how he changed fashion.
I personally love YSL as he created clothes that gave women confidence. Borrowing from male codes of dress, he designed clothing to empower women whilst preserving their femininity. My favourite quote from the exhibition was
“Nothing is more beautiful than a naked body.
The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves.
But for those who haven’t had the fortune of finding this happiness, I am there.”
YSL was an artist, a visionary who lived from 1936-2008 but through exhibitions like this his work lives on. If you love fashion or are interested in design or creation, this exhibition is a must see.
YSL: Style is Eternal is on display until 25th October 2015 at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP. Call 01833 690606 or visit www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk. Tickets are on sale here and cost £13.75 (£12.50 adult ticket plus £1.25 booking fee).
Thank you to The Bowes Museum who arranged complimentary access for me to visit the museum and write this post. All opinions are my own.