Sunday, October 16, 2016

YSL The Perfection of Style at Seattle Art Museum

So this opened this week in town.

And all I had to do was ride one bus from my house to see it.

This is just the first room of dresses. There are over a hundred dresses and ensembles on display, with videos and jewelry and walls of fabric swatches. It's breathtaking and exhausting.

I am on a deadline and I don't have time to write up the best post about this exhibition right now. 

But you need to see this show, and let me show you why.

From the first collection,with examples through the end of his career, there are two walls of these swatch/style/model pages.
It's enough to make you dizzy.
I love how I've snuck Barbara into this (she's in the center).

look at that pencil line! Oh good god that's beautiful.

I will come back to this page. Mostly the Mondrian's are made of wool jersey, but one is twill and another looks a little like serge. 

sorry this is out of focus; I will get a better shot later

Pages are taped and pinned together, but the clothes are drawn on the grid sheets, overlapping and addressing each other. 
The effect is mesmerizing, both as a set of figure drawings and as a gradual evolution of the style of the house. 
It's the show in one room, with swatches.

Oh there are dresses. There are hats. It's actually overwhelming and I felt burnt out at the end. I ran out of camera battery so the photos stop after a THIRD of the exhibit.
It's big.

Which brings me to my point: if you can get to Seattle, see this. The ticket is hefty (thanks Library program
I love the Seattle Public Library with all my heart

Yes, tickets are 25$. And for once, it's worth it. Take the day, you can leave and come back in (lunch break).

 At this point, my camera battery is dying and I have to be super choosy about what I'm going to photograph. There will be more. And I bought a spare battery.

HATS! Let's just stay in this room! Forever and ever!

 The breakdown on printing in this one case was amazing.

They did get to haul out the 1965 Wesselman to hang with the 1965 Homage to Wesselman dress.

We'll talk about one this next week.
And I will have gone again. 

We miss a lot out here in the PNW. We're a cul du sac of culture, as we aren't 'on the way' to somewhere else (the big tours never came here, from either side of the area). 
But now and then,  the stars align!


  1. Jealous! A wonderful exhibition, I'm not surprised you're going back.

  2. A few of my favourite bands are from Seattle so you're certainly in my good books!

    But what joy in this exhibition. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pencil sketches. $25 is the norm in London.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing; what an amazing exhibition!! Those line drawings were fantastic, each a little work of art. I love seeing the evolution of a design :)

  4. I am moved by your enthusiastic write up of this exhibition. I would have loved to attend it, with you ideally S! I just hope it comes to Europe because it would be a dream for me. I want to see all those sketches and fabric samples close up. Although I have seen some of these clothes before I have never seen the hats! How completely stunning they are. Lucky you to have access to this exhibition. I don't mind spending that sort of money because these exhibitions are very costly to put together and contain so much learning. Thank you for taking so much trouble. I know many of your readers will really appreciate the post and the photographs.

  5. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing all of those amazing sketches. I was lucky enough to see quite a few YSL pieces at the De Young in SF a few years ago, and it was amazing (but definitely a different show). I am incredibly jealous that you get to see all those swatches up close and personal!!

    1. There is so much of this show I did not show (partly because of dead phone battery), but on my second viewing, mostly I am looking forward to revisiting the sketches.
      Lucky lucky lucky!


Thanks for reading! I love your comments, I love your ideas, I love your recipes, but if you post links to advertising, I will delete your comment.