As you may have heard, the UK’s first Yves Saint Laurent retrospective will open this summer at The Bowes Museum in collaboration with Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent. The exhibition will emphasise the defining moments in Yves Saint Laurent’s career as a fashion designer and will feature some of his most iconic pieces, including the tuxedo and the Mondrian dress of 1966.
The Mondrian dress below is an example of Yves Saint Laurent’s innovative vision towards fashion design. The 1960s sack style dress was an ideal canvas for colour blocking and this particular design was inspired by the abstract paintings of the Dutch De Stijl artist Piet Mondrian. Yves Saint Laurent produced a cleverly cut piece of cloth which disguised all shaping and seams within the gridded design. The Mondrian dress was extremely popular and even featured on the cover of French Vogue in 1965. Manufacturers soon produced replicas of the design which circulated among the fashionable women of Paris and beyond.
‘One of [Yves Saint Laurent’s] greatest accomplishments was a flair for colour, which he displayed from the Mondrian shifts onwards.’ Alice Rawsthorn, Yves Saint Laurent: A Biography (page 330)
Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal opens 11 July 2015
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By Hannah Jackson, Assistant Curator of Fashion & Textiles