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Yves Saint Laurent’s First UK Spectacle

“Fashion fades, style is eternal” –Yves Saint Laurent

Inspired by the late revolutionary designer and his iconic statement, the UK’s first Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal exhibition will present fifty garments including some iconic pieces from the Russian Collection, the Mondrian dresses and the Tuxedo, plus hundreds of accessories. Among them, one of Yves Saint Laurent’s greatest legacies;  the original ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedo created in 1966 which saw the worlds first adaptation of classic men’s tailoring onto the female silhouette. Defying convention, the revolutionary ensemble consisted of a classic dinner jacket in black grain de poudre wool or satin and trousers offset with a satin side-stripe complemented by a ruffled white shirt, black bow tie and a wide cummerbund of satin.

“For a woman, Le Smoking is an indispensable garment with which she finds herself continually in fashion, because it is about style, not fashion. Fashions come and go, but style is forever.”—Ali Basye

The exhibition showcases YSL’s most inspiring garments in exquisite fashion; preserving pieces dating back to the 1960s through to the present day, allowing the fashion-adoring public to experience a physical timeline of the enduring YSL legacy.

Chosen over the more prestigious museums and other typical venues in the capital, the architecturally beautiful Bowes museum in County Durham was hand-picked to house the spectacle. An 18th century French-style château, the venue is the perfect location to play host to the event which highlights the defining elements of the French designer’s vision and the significant influence it has had on fashion and the way we understand womenswear. Created over 100 years ago by John & Joséphine Bowes, the Bowes museum is home to the greatest private collection of European fine and decorative arts in the North of England. The show will also open up a dialogue with The Bowes Museum’s collection, creating a unique sense of narrative around the history of fashion; and although Style is Eternal is one of the most prestigious events to feature at Bowes, it is not the first of its kind, with past exhibits including Vivienne Westwood shoes, Stephen Jones hats and Henry Poole & Co Tailoring.

“We are honoured to host the first exhibition in the UK of Yves Saint Laurent, one of the most influential fashion designers of all time,” – Joanna Hashagen, Curator of Fashion at the Bowes museum

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal will be open at the Bowes museum in County Durham from July 11th until October 25th 2015

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