When thinking of Denver, Colorado, fleece, hand warmers and ski boots come to mind, not so much high fashion. But back it up with your preconceived notions because from March 25 through July 8, DAM will be the only venue in the US where a sweeping collection of 200 Yves Saint Laurent’s groundbreaking haute couture outfits, photographs, drawings and films arching over 40 years of YSL’s prolific career can be viewed.
In 2012, Christoph Heinrich, director of the Denver Art Museum visited the YSL retrospective at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and he made it his mission to bring the same retrospective to Denver. We say ‘werk’.
If you don’t know why YSL is so important to fashion, and to the female gender, let us break it down real quick: if you’ve ever worn a pants suit in your life, and you are a woman, you owe it to him. YSL spent his career pioneering closing the gender gap. He empowered women by transforming typically male wardrobe items like suits, shorts and the safari jacket, into women’s haute couture. Among other famed YSL items, there will be entire wall of his celebrated “le Smoking” — the first tuxedo designed specifically for women.
The exhibition will be curated by Florence Müller and overseen by Pierre Bergé, just as in Paris. Heinrich’s team has also recruited the same French lighting and space designers. DAM will be the only museum in the US, and the world (besides Paris and Madrid), where this retrospective can be seen. If all this doesn’t make you want to buy a plane ticket to Denver ASAP, we should also mention DAM will have a Fashion Studio in conjunction. The studio will include workshops interactively teaching participants about all facets of fashion design – including draping, styling and sewing. Denver, you done good.
The Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Ave., Parkway, Denver, CO 80204, The Hamilton Building March 25 through July 8, 2012 denverartmuseum.org