Monday, February 16, 2015

Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s (c) Recount by Polly Guerin

Who better among the celebrated designers to define the sexy and glamorous fashions of the 1970s than two of the best-known fashion designers in modern history: Yves Saint Laurent and Halston. The juxtaposition of these two designers' fashions in tandem in a breathtaking retrospective shows us what really beautiful clothes is all about and no museum presents the exhibition better than the world-class fashion museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT),  Here's the scoop!!!
YSL and Halston  Lounge Pajamas
THE TIMELINE:  A dynamic illustrated timeline at the entrance to the exhibition begins in the early Fifties, with Roy Halston Frowick's move from Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, where he took a job as a window dresser, and, Yves Saint Laurent's from Oran, Algeria, to Paris, where he won the first and third prizes in a fashion illustration contest, and had his top design produced by Hubert de Givenchy. The timeline ends in the early Eighties with Saint Laurent's retrospective at the Met curated by Diana Vreeland and Halston's loss of his name and business.
SIMILAR IDEA: During the first few years of the 1970s, Saint Laurent and Halston held remarkably similar ideas. At one end of the spectrum was Saint Laurent's broad range of creativity, which encompassed his brilliant use of color, drama and fantasy.  The other end was Halston's mastery of  haute modernism and minimalism.
   For instance, the simply elegant casual ensemble of YSL featuring fur collar and cuff on a sweater set with multi-color wool skirt is as elegant today as it was in the 70s.
   Alas the red carpet fashion shows today leave a lot to be desired. I would like to see similar elegant 70's-influenced fashions, but so much of what is shown in the press just does not justify the addition of gimmicks or attachments that do nothing to make a fashion statement.
Yves Saint Laurent, Evening Gown
MAKING AN ENTRANCE;: At the entrance to the show you come upon a pair of silk crepe pants (sets) in intense prints. Saint Laurent's pink, red and violet paisley and Halston's royal blue floral lounge pajamas that might go to any party by night. The overt opulence of Saint Laurent against the minimalism of Halston
is clearly obvious in a black Halston cut out dress and an Yves Saint Laurent red cut out. No two designers defined and dominated the decade more than YSL and Halston.  They were the era's most influential and celebrated clothing creators.  Saint Laurent is viewed as the great colorist who imbued his clothes with a sense of drama and fantasy, while Halston is seen as the era's master of modernism and minimalism.
   The exhibition is drawn exclusively from the vast holdings of The Museum at FIT. For instance, the museum's collection hold the Halston archives---the most comprehensive records of his work in the world---as well as a vast array of significant Yves Saint Laurent pieces donated by important clients, fashion editors, friends, and colleagues of Saint Laurent.The exhibition is organized by Patricia Meers, deputy director of The Museum at FIT, and Emma McClendon, assistant curator The exhibition will be on view through April 18, 2015. There will be a talk and tour of the exhibit on Wednesday., March 4 at 10:30 am, Monday, March 23, 6 pm and Wednesday,  April 15, 10:30 am.  Reservations are required call: 212.217.4550
Ta Ta darlings!!! .I've been to the YSL/Halston show. It's worth the trip and all shows at The Museum at FIT are Free admission. Fan mail welcome at In the left hand column of Polly's website, you can click onto any of Polly's Blogs that might interest you on remarkable men, amazing women, poetry, and, of course, fashion.

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