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The YSL Foundation near the Champs Elysees

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yves saint laurentWhen Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008, the fashion world mourned. Now many devotees make the journey to the Pierre Bergé – YSL Foundation in memory of the late genius of haute couture. The foundation is located in the designer’s old atelier. When it shut upon his retirement in 2002, Yves Saint Laurent, together with his business and romantic partner Pierre Bergé, decided to convert it into a foundation-museum dedicated to his life, work and the way he revolutionized the way women dress.

More than 5,000 pieces of apparel are stored here, many of which have been donated from his long-standing clients, such as the French acting legend Catherine Deneuve and Loulou de la Falaise, his long-time muse. They are kept on the upper floors in museum-like conditions which involves careful monitoring of hygrometric (or atmospheric humidity) levels and acid-resistant archive containers; all designed to keep these artifacts of high fashion for prosperity. The pieces are rotated twice yearly, and other objects on display include numerous sketches, videos of his shows, press clippings and books.

There are also collections of photographs and paintings that were inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s collections, which were themselves often influenced by traditional forms of dress from other cultures. Paintings by Warhol and Picasso have been skilfully and tastefully incorporated into the displays of Saint Laurent’s clothes and accessories. The foundation is also used for temporary shows which tend to reflect the late-designer’s exquisitely-tuned taste in design and art, and until August 20th 2010, it will act as a secondary venue for the biggest every retrospective of the designers work which is being mounted at the Petit Palais.

Pierre Bergé – YSL Foundation 5, avenue Marceau 3,Tel 01 44 31 64 31, Open Tue-Sun 9.30am-1pm and 2.30pm-6pm

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