Yves Saint Laurent, Classicism And Transgression at Alliance française 10/28/11

Yves Saint Laurent, Classicism And Transgression.
Friday, October 28th at 6:30pm
Alliance française
618 SW 8th Street
Miami, Fl 33130

Lecture in French and English
Free Admission / Free Street Parking

Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yves Saint Laurent’s Fashion House.
For this event Laurent Cotta art historian fashion historian and responsible for contemporary creation at Galliera, the museum of fashion in the city of Paris offers to give us a lecture about the story of the YSL Fashion House.

Towards the end of his life, Yves Saint Laurent defined himself as “the last great couturier” – perhaps a way to settle scores with his long-time rival, Karl Lagerfeld. Pride, lucidity…? Before the end of his career in 2002, he was certainly the last active couturier to have lived through the period of glory of Parisian design in the 1950s. He was also the only one to have been able to maintain the same number of design studios and employees as in the hey-day of the ‘50s throughout his entire career.

YSL, classicisme et transgression
Recognized by Chanel as her heir, taking after a classicism inscribed in the French tradition, he offered an understated fashion which glorified the woman, gave her the assurance that she needed to assert herself in this transitional period.

He was the first to introduce street fashion into haute couture. It was this audacity that catapulted him to the head of Dior in 1960, with the “Beatnik” collection.
Although he was the champion of haute couture, he nevertheless designed a ready-to-wear line, Rive Gauche, in 1966, also signing all of his designs.

From the start of his career, he rendered the concept of “Parisian elegance” obsolete, and replaced it by the idea of “seduction” which was more in line with the aspirations of women at the dawn of the 1960s. This form of seduction was all the more disconcerting in that he deliberately conceived of it as poisonous, as witnessed by his 1971 collection, inspired by the 1940s or Catherine Deneuve’s outfits in Belle de jour by Bunuel in 1967.

Through his classics – the safari jacket, the tuxedo, see-through clothes – he accompanied women in their emancipation and fashioned a clothes-closet that is contemporary even to this day.

Laurent Cotta
Since 2002, art historian and fashion historian, Laurent Cotta, has been responsible for contemporary creation at Galliera, the museum of fashion in the city of Paris. In his time at the museum, Laurent Cotta has had the chance to mount a number of exhibitions paying homage to the great names in fashion, or launching young talent from the new generation of designers. His first exhibit – Fashion to Follow – presented the work of young, emerging international designers.

In 2004, he was the commissioner of Sylvie Vartan, Fashion Review, devoted to the singer’s stage costumes. In 2007, he mounted the exhibition Gallierock, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, on the occasion of which the designer took over the museum for the fortieth anniversary of the creation of his label. In 2011, as part of the exhibitions “Galliera Off-Site”, he and Olivier Saillard were co-commissioners for Madame Grès, Fashion Design at Work at the Bourdelle Museum, from March through July, and The 18th Century in Contemporary Fashion at the Grand Trianon Museum, on the grounds of Versailles, from July through September.

In addition to his projects at Galliera, Laurent Cotta has been regularly lecturing at l’École du Louvre since 2004, and in 2010 was responsible for a series of courses devoted to the history of contemporary fashion. At the same time, he gives lectures on Yves Saint Laurent at the Institut Français de la Mode [French Fashion Institute]. Laurent Cotta also contributes to print media and particularly with Nippon Vogue. He has of late been working with the Franco-German television channel Arte, participating recently on two documentaries which are scheduled for broadcast in 2011: The History of Pants and the Mini-Skirt and The Mini-Skirt.

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