I am so happy to announce the release of my fifth collaboration with Denver Art Museum: the creation of the YSL Retrospective Collection. At DAM will be the only North American showing of the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective Exhibit, where the collection on exhibit will chronicle YSL’s long and wildly creative career from his years at Dior to his finale in 2002.
The DSH – YSL Retrospective Collection not only takes inspiration from YSL’s long and prolific career but specifically chosen garment pieces in the show that perfectly illustrate the artistic collaboration between fashion, culture and perfume.
“Can you imagine my excitement when invited to create for the YSL show in Denver? It was for me as if I were given the opportunity to design for the great man himself. I took on the project as if I had just been appointed the “in house perfumer'; a fantasy, I know, yet I feel that it brought out an even deeper understanding of YSL’s work and that of translating his aesthetic into perfume.
The Collection consists of six perfumes that start at YSL’s beginning at Dior and his first triumph, the “Ligne Trapeze”, a cool and sophisticated violet-aldehydic perfume with a warm, animalic drydown; Next to “The Beat Look”, referencing the Americanization of French culture during the late ‘50’s and taking inspiration from YSL’s first perfume launch “Y”. The Beat Look is an aldehydic-fruity-floral-chypre; “Le Smoking”, speaks to the start of an ongoing theme in YSL’s work (the women’s tuxedo) and the women’s liberation movement of the 1970’s. Of course, Le Smoking is a green-chypre-tabac fragrance with incense and hints of marijuana cigarette. We next move to “Euphorisme d’Opium” which takes many of it’s cues from the now discontinued original design of YSL’s landmark fragrance “Opium”, a spicy-narcotic-oriental perfume; and into the 1980’s with “La Vie en Rose”, a sparkling rose-violet perfume modeled on YSL’s 1983 launch of “Paris” perfume and his unmistakable “Paris Bow” gown. Lastly, a floral-floral, linden blossom and wisteria creation befitting the icon that YSL became called “Ma Plus Belle Histoire d’Amour” was inspired by a radiant floral motif, silk evening coat found in the retrospective show.
With this collection I not only wished to express a sense of YSL’s career history but a sense of the interplay between fashion and perfume history within the perfume designs themselves. I hope that by experiencing the collection as a whole it will tell the story of this man’s creative life through the senses.