BETTY CATROUX - YVES SAINT LAURENT FEMININE SINGULAR

18/06/2021 - 15/08/2021


EXHIBITION

JUNE 18TH - AUGUST 15TH 2021

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, SHANGHAI


FIRST LAUNCHED IN PARIS IN 2020, THE EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO BETTY CATROUX, MUSE AND

« FEMALE DOUBLE » OF YVES SAINT LAURENT IS TRAVELING TO SHANGHAI IN 2021


The scene of the exhibition (The copyright belongs to the brand)


The scene of the exhibition (The copyright belongs to the brand)


The scene of the exhibition (The copyright belongs to the brand)


Betty Catroux (The copyright belongs to the owner)


In 1962, Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) launched his couture house in Paris with Pierre Bergé (1930-2017) before settling in 1974 in an hotel particulier at the 5 avenue Marceau. In 1999, the ready-to-wear division of the house was sold to the Kering Group, current owner of the Saint Laurent brand. The haute couture division closed its doors in 2002 to become the Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent; recognized to be of public utility, the Foundation is primarily designed to preserve the work of the couturier and its influence. The Foundation also houses the Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum.


The Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum imagined, in partnership with Saint Laurent, this exceptional exhibition dedicated to Betty Catroux and presented in its own spaces in 2020. The exhibition pays homage to that fashion icon and « feminine double » of Yves Saint Laurent, the perfect incarnation of the modern woman and her style.


Betty Catroux & Yves Saint Laurent (The copyright belongs to the owner)


BETTY CATROUX AND YVES SAINT LAURENT

Platinum blonde hair, endless silhouette, Yves instantly and physically fell in love with Betty when he met her in a night club in 1967. « Enfants terribles », graced with a bold and innate elegance, Yves and Betty became inseparable, shared everything, highs as well as lows. Betty incarnates his fashion, his rebellious side, his mystery and his modernity. An absolute chic as well. Everything that constitutes « the spirit of Saint Laurent » as defined by the couturier, early in the 1960s, when he started borrowing elements from the masculine wardrobe to revolutionize fashion. Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, but the myth is still alive, and Betty is still its strongest and most modern representation.


« Betty is the spirit of the time. » Yves Saint Laurent


(The copyright belongs to the owner)


For more than thirty years, Betty Catroux built her wardrobe by picking pieces after each show to reflect her personality and that of the modern woman. The designs presented at the exhibition were selected from the exceptional donation Betty Catroux made to the Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent in 2019. For this exhibition, Madison Cox, president of the Foundation, wanted to give a « carte blanche » to Anthony Vaccarello, artistic director of Saint Laurent. Anthony Vaccarello’s point of view on Betty Catroux’ wardrobe is very insightful, revealing her unique personality and the enduring influence upon the style kept alive by the brand.


Betty Catroux & Yves Saint Laurent in Central Park, New York, 1968;Photographer:Maurice Hogenboom (The copyright belongs to the owner)


ANTHONY VACCARELLO AND BETTY CATROUX

Born in Brussels and from Italian descent Anthony Vaccarello studied at the prestigious fashion school of la Cambre in Belgium. His style soon emerged as a perfectly balanced mix of his two cultures: the precise construction from Belgian art and the glamorous power of Italian fashion. His graduate collection won the first prize at the Hyères Festival in the south of France in 2006 and he launched his eponymous brand soon afterwards. Strict tailoring became the backbone of his powerful sensual silhouettes infuse in pop culture, he started dressing sophisticated women of character, independent and never afraid of asking for what they want. His ability to shape a modern, elegant and subtly subversive femininity is key to the success of the fashion house. And one of the reasons he connected naturally with Betty Catroux.


Anthony was able to understand and translate her singularity and Betty is still very much a modern inspiration for him.


They share a point of view on fashion, a taste for freedom that is disruptive in a world where conformity and prohibition are the norm. Saint Laurent is not consensual, neither are Anthony or Betty.


« Betty embodies Saint Laurent without a need for long speeches. An allure, a mystery, an almost nefarious aspect, an elusive yet desirable nature, all that underlies the house’s aura and you understand the magnitude of it when you meet Betty. She is the living proof that the house is forever timeless and dynamic.» Anthony Vaccarello

« I love Anthony’s attitude; it touches me a lot. He has a real elegance, a wonderful charm. I like him a lot, and I think he has captured that Saint Laurent ambiance, that sense of mystery, very well. » Betty Catroux


Betty Catroux & Saint Laurent Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello;Photographer:David Sims (The copyright belongs to the owner)


THE SPIRIT OF SAINT LAURENT

Today the house is part of the Kering Group. Its creative and artist director, Anthony Vaccarello is driving its success, keeping the Saint Laurent style alive, in his own way. To embody that style, he naturally turned to Betty. In 2018, she was the star of a campaign, shot by David Sims in striking black and white. With their platinum hair and sunglasses worn at night, draped in their masculine overcoats, the models of the 2019 winter show were mirroring the Betty watching from the front row. His creations paying homage to her are also presented at the exhibition.


YVES SAINT LAURENT AND CHINA

Chinese traditional costumes inspired Yves Saint Laurent to create outstanding haute couture collections. The ones for winter 1970 and winter 1977 are permanently marked in the history of fashion. This approach expressed how much the couturier admired the Chinese culture, so much so that Beijing welcomed one of the first important retrospectives dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent in 1985.


Through this exhibition, the house wishes to get closer to a country which culture is multifaceted, modern and ancestral altogether, just like the Saint Laurent culture, really.


The Saint Laurent culture was created by a paradoxical couturier: shy yet provocative, a visionary enamored with the Classics. The house was launched in 1961 and its master immediately started to demolish the outdated rules of the fashion world. With style, always. From the street and the everyday life, he borrowed simple pieces and turned them into haute couture wonders. In 1966, his Rive Gauche line gave women the great joy of ready-to-wear. He liked women in trousers suits, his carefully cultivated taste for masculine-feminine silhouettes created a scandal. One among others: being scandalous became a signature of the house. His soft tailoring made women and their movements free. He gave them an attitude: nonchalant and proud. He also built a wardrobe full of timeless pieces: peacoat, trench coat, smoking, blouse, tailored jacket, safari jacket….


Occidental arts and cultures had always been heavily inspired by China and the country also have a special place in the Saint Laurent history, influencing its style from the very beginning. The Chinese capital had already welcomed an exhibition dedicated to the French house in 1985. In 2017, the brand-new Yves saint Laurent Museum opened with « Asian Dreams », an event exploring the fascination exerted upon the couturier by distant imaginary territories, including China, India and Japan.


As a passionate aesthete, Mr Saint Laurent was always attracted to the richness of the Chinese culture. Books and art first fed the imagination of a big dreamer, long before he set a foot in the actual country behind the world he had built in his mind. Over the years, the Chinese influences became more or less obvious in the collections.


Betty Catroux, place de l'Odéon, Paris, 1980 (The copyright belongs to the owner)


ABOUT THE FONDATION PIERRE BERGÉ – YVES SAINT LAURENT

During a press conference on January 7, 2002, Saint Laurent announced his intention to cease his career as a couturier and close the haute couture house. On the same year the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent was created. Recognized as being in the public interest, the Fondation’s primary aim is to ensure the conservation and promotion of Yves Saint Laurent’s oeuvre. The collection of approximately 34,000 objects is composed of a wide range of items related to the life and work of Yves Saint Laurent and his haute couture house. Since 2017, this unique heritage is permanently on display at the Yves Saint Laurent museums in Paris and Marrakech.


ABOUT THE MUSÉE YVES SAINT LAURENT PARIS

Over fifteen years after the haute couture house closed, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris opened in 2017. It is located in the legendary hôtel particulier at 5 avenue Marceau where Yves Saint Laurent spent nearly thirty years designing his collections from 1974 to 2002. Across 450 m2, an ever-changing rotation of retrospective displays and temporary thematic exhibitions present the Fondation’s rich and unique collection. The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris is the first museum of this scale dedicated to the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest couturiers to open in the capital of fashion. It was granted the Appellation ‘Musée de France’ by the French Ministry of Culture.


ABOUT SAINT LAURENT

Founded in 1961, Saint Laurent is one of the most prominent fashion houses of the 20th century. Originally Maison of Haute Couture, Saint Laurent revolutionized modern fashion in 1966 with the introduction of luxury ready-to-wear under the name Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Since its inception, Saint Laurent has held enormous influence both inside and outside the fashion industry. Saint Laurent’s status as a leading fashion brand is fully established and recognized, with a very distinctive identity and strong codes that are perfectly identified and made relevant to our time. Saint Laurent brand competes globally with high-end exclusive luxury brands and occupies a leading position in the sector.



BETTY CATROUX - YVES SAINT LAURENT

FEMININE SINGULAR

EXHIBITION

JUNE 18TH - AUGUST 15TH 2021

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, SHANGHAI