We visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum

It’s been six months now since the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent changed into the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, celebrating the life and work of the clothes designer who died ten years ago.

It’s the only museum in Paris dedicated to one fashion designer, and we went down to check out the inaugural exhibition, housed in a beautiful building.

Here’s our photo report.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum, Paris
photos: JasonW

If you ever visited the old Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent for one of their temporary exhibitions of Hedi Slimane or David Hockney‘s work, you’ll be surprised by the new Yves Saint Laurent Museum.

Instead of having just two average-sized rooms as exhibition spaces, the museum – housed in an historical townhouse which was the headquarters for Saint Laurent’s couture house between 1974 and 2002 – now has 450m² to show its collection properly.

The venue will alternate retrospective shows and temporary exhibitions, and the first presentation – the inaugural display – is currently in place until September 2018, giving an overview of the designer’s career.

As soon as you enter, it’s clear that you’re in a special place. Even the cloakroom looks like something out of Versailles, with gold leaf and candelabras!
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisThe first room presents some iconic photos of Saint Laurent (although we don’t remember seeing the famous nude shots by Jean-Louis Sieff), and a screen shows a looped video about his life, including the huge fashion show he did at the Stade De France stadium in July 1998.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, Paris

New, you cross the hallway and enter the heart of the museum. Here you’ll find rather dark rooms with spotlights on some of Saint Laurent’s most famous dresses, and show display cases that allow you to get up really close and admire the detailed craftsmanship that went into certain pieces.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisNext, a grand staircase can lead you down half a floor to watch some videos, or up to a screening room with a short film, followed by the rest of the visit.

The rooms are much brighter here…
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisAnd it’s here that a little wonder is in store – Saint Laurent’s office and workroom, left as if he were still here.

You can see his materials, his inspirations, his sketches. You can imagine him working away furiously at his desk during a spell of intense creativity.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisAnd to end the visit – you’ll need about 90 minutes to appreciate everything properly – we go back into darkness for some more dresses, as well as jewellery and a wall of drawings by the man himself.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisYves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisAnd of course, the exit is… through the gift shop! You’ll find a mine of information here about Yves Saint Laurent, his work, his inspiration, his homes…
Yves Saint Laurent Museum, ParisFor anyone serious about fashion, this new museum is a must-see. The presentation is great, the explanations are clear, the staff is super nice and the creations on show are stunnig!

The Yves Saint Laurent Museum (here) is open every day except Mondays from 11am-6pm (9pm Fridays)

Admission: 10€ / 7€

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To check out all our photos of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, simply click here.