As a child of the '80s and the youngest of three girls (almost 10 years separate me and my oldest sister), Yves Saint Laurent has been on my radar since I can remember. My mother was quite the seamstress back in the day and she and my oldest sister would study the pages of Vogue and then head out to Hancock's Fabrics to study, in turn, the Vogue patterns often including replicas of runway favorites (thank you, Jesus!) and the rows of silk taffetas, chiffons, iridescent silks, and other of the finer fabric offerings at Hancock's. And, as a perennial wannabe of my oldest sister, I was always watching every move and asking when I would get my dress (much to the annoyance of both my mother and my sister).
As I think back over all of the formal dresses that my mother ended up making for all three of us in the '80s growing up in Florence, Alabama, my tenth grade lead out dress being one of her very last, Yves Saint Laurent is the one designer that seemed to have a predominant effect on the Smith House of Fashion. From Leah's floor-length, black velvet sheath ball gown with oversized, ruffled balloon, red- and black-floral taffeta sleeves (yaaasss, queen!), to Tay's gold lamé one-shouldered greek goddess glamorama, to my own fuchsia and black polka-dot taffeta sheath, ruched to the hips, sweet-heart strapless bodice with a large black bow at the right hip, it's clear we owe a debt of gratitude to M. Saint Laurent for his inspiration.
To add to that, my very first love in interiors (beyond the homes found in the stacks of Colonial Homes and Southern Accents magazines that I marinated in as a child), is Jacques Granges. His are the interiors that first opened my mind to the extraordinary. His is the first interior design coffee table book that I ever bought. And, in studying the pages of interiors therein, I came to learn that the chicest among those featured were the many personal homes of Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. Saint Laurent and Granges, it seems, became seamless collaborators on all the Saint Laurent/Bergé interiors.
And, so when I learned that the musée Yves Saint Laurent had opened in the original YSL atelier on avenue Marceau, lovingly refurbished back to it's original state in the '80s by Pierre Bergé in collaboration with Jacques Grange, I knew that some way, some how, I would get there.
The museum is a jewel of a museum, with every detail painstakingly considered. It's luxe and beautiful and comfortable and thoughtful, much as you would expect a couture experience would be. There is something for the fashionista, for the design enthusiast, for the architecturally inspired, and for the '70s and '80s nostalgia seekers. It takes you into the chicest streets of Paris and there are several very accommodating cafes just across the way for your lunch or afternoon rosé after you finish.
Buy your tickets online here. Watch a fabulous video interview with Jacques Granges on his collaborations with Yves Saint Laurent here. Find a great article on the museum here. And, learn everything you every wanted to know about Yves Saint Laurent's personal history here.
And, if you were totally looking for the fashion hook-up today and not down for the travel journal, check out this fabulous dress, this chic yet affordable bag, and these crazy good sandals and almost 100 other new items in the Shop.