Friday, March 25, 2016

Yves Saint Laurent and Halston

One of the very first things I needed to do after returning to southwest Florida this month was rush to see the Yves Saint Laurent-Halston exhibit at the Naples, Florida Baker Museum before it closed.  The exhibit was here in town for the winter season after opening first in NYC at the Fashion Institute museum.  I am a baby boomer whose small town sewing and fashion sense was definitely influenced by the 60s and 70s designs of these two icons as their aesthetic trickled down the fashion chain.  I don't have pictures from that era to share my interpretations but I did see some patterns online that I know were part of my aspirational sewing back in the early 70s.  
Here are some of my pictures from this luscious exhibit.

Halston American Beauty Rose gown

Halston caftan
YSL Safari look

Of course I have to get close to look at those tiny baby hems on that gorgeous silk fabric....and I swear I owned a knock off of that flowered print on that other mannequin.

The cut and drape on these garments are simply timeless.
I giggled when I saw the YSL garments that inspired the Gunne Sax trend that I loved in the early 70s.  
I loved the Grecian draping on dresses from the era...some you might recall the Quiana fabric craze...and sewed a dress that I remember wearing to my friend's wedding in maybe 1976 with this design line.  Not the best look for my rectangular body but I so loved the flow of fabric.

The Pattern Vault Blog did a wonderful job of marrying some of these fashion themes to the 70s sewing patterns that were licensed by Halston and Yves Saint Laurent for home sewers.  
Seeing this exhibit was a trip down sewing memory lane for me and also made me appreciate the freedom we have today to define fashion for ourselves.  The 70s were the start of that exuberance and it was enjoyable to revisit that time.  Of course, as I get older I again have to redefine what works for me, my activities, my interests, my body.  But here's a bit of that boho look which is now so back in style.  It just so happened that this Chicos top perfectly matched the Dale Chihuly installation at the museum and a kind patron snapped this shot .  
Here's hoping that you have something inspirational and fun to keep in mind while you pursue your latest sewing project.


  1. How lucky for you that you were able to see this exhibit ... and thank-you for sharing. I, too, remember sewing up St. Laurent patterns (Halston didn't enthuse me so much). What fun to remember...

  2. I had forgotten how many patterns were put out under their names until I did some googling. One of the themes of the exhibit was how each man was also part of the licensing and branding of the era as well, sadly to the downfall of Halston in particular.

  3. Lovely dresses and loved Halston American Beauty rose gown. My cousin is going to tie the knot next month at one of local lofty spaces and I was so much confused about what to wear on this occasion. You have solved my problem. Thanks a lot!


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