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  • The first show: Yves Saint Laurent with a model in December 1961 or January 1962. Pierre Boulat /Courtesy Associa

  • The last show: Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, 2002. Alexandra Boulat/Alexandra Boulat/VII

  • The last show: A backstage view. Alexandra Boulat/Alexandra Boulat/VII


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Yves Saint Laurent through the lens of Pierre and Alexandra Boulat

A new exhibition at Citroën’s DS World in Paris, a space near the Champs- Élysées that showcases the brand’s DS line and frequently hosts art exhibitions, casts light on the emblematic figure of French couturier Yves Saint Laurent, as seen through the lens of iconic photographer Pierre Boulat and his daughter, Alexandra Boulat. The exhibition covers Saint Laurent’s 40-year career in 36 photos, from his impressive debut collection at Dior in 1958 to his final show at the Centre Pompidou in 2002. The celebrated designer is portrayed during the preparations of his fashion shows that earned him international fame, adjusting the final details in the backstage, during drawing sessions or quietly working on his own, giving us the chance to feel his excitement, as well as the quality and originality of his creative practice.

Pierre Boulat (1924 – 1998), a regular collaborator of Life magazine and Paris Match, captured Yves Saint Laurent since his early days in fashion. In 1962, he spent five weeks with the designer, covering the making process of his first solo fashion show. The photographer maintained a very close relationship with the designer throughout the years, which gave him unlimited access not only backstage, but also in the intimacy of his Paris home. In this sense, Boulat’s photos, many of which have never been displayed before, offer us a unique testimony of Saint Laurent’s life and career, making the exhibition a definite no miss.

Pierre Bergé, the fashion designer’s longtime partner and collaborator, said in an official statement: “Meeting Pierre Boulat was amazing. He was with us almost day and night. We realized we were creating together a memoir”. Alexandra Boulat (1962 – 2007), a famed war photographer, took over from where her father left off, capturing Yves Saint Laurent during his emotive final fashion show before retirement on January 22, 2002, which featured more than 200 of his all-time favorite pieces. Her photographs serve as a reminder of Saint Laurent’s unique sensitivity and unparalleled talent, a fashion legacy that remains to this day. Yves Saint Laurent’s exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and will remain on view until September 10, 2015, at the DS World, 33 Rue François 1er, 75008, Paris.