30 March 2011

Saint Laurent rive gauche interiorworthy


 Paris 1966

Saint Laurent rive gauche

La révolution de la mode

“I want to be the Prisunic”(chain store)of fashion &  make clothes that everyone can wear, 
not just rich women”


Saint Laurent with Betty Catroux &  Loulou de la Falaise

  the opening of the first Saint Laurent rive gauche boutique in London
New Bond Street -September 10 1969
© Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images

The Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent has recaptured the modern ambiance of  Yves Saint Laurent's 1966 Rive Gauche Boutique. designed by Isabelle Hebey for its 15th Exhibition this year. The shop holds sixty iconic ready-to-wear pieces by the designer

Loulou de la Falaise is artistic director of the Exhibition. She was the couturier’s muse for more than three decades, pulled together the designer's work from the era in order to mount the show:
"The tricky thing about doing this show was to find multiple editions of the same style and make themes,” de la Falaise

“The shop had to look real. If we’d combined lots of diverse pieces, it would have seemed like a sale.” de la Falaise

The boutique opened on the Left Bank’s rue de Tournon on September 26 of that year &  featured  bold firey Chinese red screen walls and carpet, of the moment Djinn benches by Olivier Mourgue ,Noguchi lamps and sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle

A full-length portrait of the designer by painter Eduardo Arroyo hung in the Rive Gauche boutique keeping watch over his flock...

All photos of the recreated boutique © Luc Castel, Courtesy of the Fondation YSL-Pierre Bergé

Eduardo Arroyo,  Spanish realist, painted the 30 year old Yves in his realistic pop art style.

 Velazquez, mi padre 1964 by Arroyo at r.

Olivier Mourgue  designed the now classic Djinn chairs in 1965 and Stanley Kubrick gave them their iconic fame in  his  own masterpiece '2001: A Space Odyssey.'  The chair, a wave-like, low-slung silhouette- was in fact- sculpture. Named from Muslim folklore, the Djinn was a spirit  that assumed human &  animal form and possessed supernatural powers of persuasion. 

Djinn from architonic

scene from Kubrick's 2001movie

Noguchi's "AKARI" paper-lamp designs were used throughout the space. The designer Noguchi was commissioned by the mayor of Gifu, Japan, to revive the town's lantern industry that, says Noguchi, had become "reduced to cheap party decorations and painted silk."  The Noguchi  lanterns were made of a mulberry paper, beautifully made and modern.

St Phalle with  day glo  vinyl silk screen NANAS
Vogue 1968

Inspired by Larry Rivers wife Clarice's pregnancy, artist Niki de Saint Phalle created her first Nanas made of paper maché and wool in 1965 and by September 1965, St Phalle exhibited the Nanas in her solo exhibition at the Galerie Alexandre Iolas, Paris. The surreal sculptures  explored the position of women in society- the Nanas represented every woman- clearly something the boutiques echoed.

a Saint Phalle Nana in the courtyard of the boutique
St Phalle Nana, 1968

YSL as seen in the Exhibition Boutique

Today- over four decades after the Boutique opened- the interior looks as fresh as it did on its first day. With that idea in mind, some of best of modern design-now classics- are held within the shop space. Yves Saint Laurent had the consummate EYE.

One sees it in the manifestation of the design of this everywoman boutique, his ready to wear and couture designs, his connoisseur's  collection of art, antiques and in his private homes. No surprise that this boutique withstands to test of time. To that end, his successor Stefano Pilati has in his tenure at YSL  published a seasonal Manifesto that brings 'the brand back to the streets'.  This echos Yves Saint Laurents own vision in making  it New.

the Spring 2011 video & Pilati quote below from Laura Bradley at another thing here
see the Manifesto here photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin,

Stefano Pilati:
"I fell in love with the idea of manifestos and with the term itself, because the word 'manifesto' implied a sense of breaking through something while still being connected to and aware of how things are today. In terms of the format, I didn't really relate to any historical manifestos I've seen because my medium is fashion… There is fashion photography in the manifesto so even the idea of showing the pictures larger than they appear in normal magazines was part of the act of manifesting. First of all you need to question whether it's interesting or not to be political about fashion, or instead you wish to reinforce a message to people that is simply about looking good and projecting a positive energy about yourself. I was no longer interested in thinking of fashion in an elitist way. Everything I picked up from the manifestos in the past suggested that they were trying to create energy around an ideology that was considered, in its time, underground. So I thought for today I would offer another perspective of a luxury brand to a broad demographic that doesn't necessarily relate to fashion in the way that a more privileged layer of people do. I wanted to create a wider influence for the message that was being sent from the catwalk, by taking imagery of a collection and giving it to people on environmentally friendly paper in the street without targeting a specific demographic. One of my visions for Saint Laurent is about giving back, so that even if you can't afford it, you can still pick up the essence of the message, the elements of fashion that might be considered increasingly irrelevant but remain for me its main aspects: the silhouette, the way the clothes are cut, the fabrics, a special pattern. It's to say – "These are my thoughts and this is my message – you can pick up something from this and do it yourself. The Yves Saint Laurent manifestos are against aggressively, against exclusivity, against classification, against isolation, against introversion, against always looking at oneself. This is what it comes to in the end. Fashion can give rise to all of these things and it shouldn't, especially today."

“I want to be the Prisunic”(chain store)of fashion &  make clothes that everyone can wear, not just rich women” YSL
and that he did- becoming the first  French couturier with a ready to wear line- this recreation of his boutique reminds us...
and it was just the beginning.

Photos of the recreated boutique © Luc Castel, Courtesy of the Fondation YSL-Pierre Bergé

from 5 March to 17 July 2011


YSL here
more at Vogue.com here
Shop Noguchi 
Niki Saint Phalle blog here
de la Falaise quotes from universal excuses by Rebecca Voight here



  1. I had YSL sheets in the 70s. I believe the pattern was called infinity. 2001, Noguchi, Niki, these are all some of my most favorite things.

  2. Wonderful story of RIVE GAUCHE finally getting its due. Historically the RTW line was looked down upon, but Thanks to Gael Mamine who was the Archivist of YSL Foundation and now the Archivist for House of Balenciaga, the Cat is out of the Bag...let the Collections begin!

    I highly recommend you my Dear Sister of Couture, to attend the Balenciaga exhibit in San Francisco...I attended the Symposium which was held on Saturday. Hamish Bowles, Miren Arzalluz-Curator of the Balenciaga Fundacion in Spain, Pamela Golbin-Chief Curator of the Musee de la Mode of the Louvre in Paris were the highlights with their inside stories...whisked away to the Land of Eisa/Balenciaga for 4 hours.

    You can download the lecture by going to DEYOUNG.COM and searching under the Balenciaga info.

    I wore Stefano Pilati under The Balenciaga Coat of Monets Waterlilies diffused...Heaven!!!

  3. It's only a train ride away and yet I have no idea if I will visit. But my affection for Rive Gauche and the work of its founder and designers never seems to abate. The aesthetic value Yves added simply by excersing his tastes and supporting that of others is practically immeasurable

    Whilst I enjoyed a lot of Ford's work, Pilati, like Slimane before him, really taps into the modernist ideals of the brand. It doesn't have to be perfect every single time, but there's always an enticing notion to it and I love that

    The Rive Gauche boutique, particularly laid bare in this way, really represented Yves' values apart from of his clothing intentions - the thought and intention in decor are often what's missing from our shopping experience today. No wonder Pilati feels like giving back

    All best,


  4. Loulou--an amazing lady.

  5. In my library the Noguchi table lamps, whose appropriate limit is 40w, alternate with Artemide's iconic Tizio to elicit a very comfortable sense of possibility, which I take to be the central point of any resource, and of support for contemplation, a luxury anytime. They are still very beautifully made, and in small volume. If Akari, the ideal source, is between semi-annual shipments, the OK Store in Los Angeles is an alternative. I had in mind that I might discuss these truly sensuous sculptures at my page, but I'm glad to be relieved of that project, at least for a while.

  6. Scott- all timeless now, the vision of YSL comes through in this shop I do believe. I love that bench. I remember looking at the NSF layout as a 9 year old-and thinking how (probably super groovy she was and her art).

  7. Mary- agreed, She seems to carry that aura and is even better as she ages! that is the Best thing of all, there is a quote in the Vogue article I did not use-about today's wearers of "only cashmere" while cotton YSL was good enough for them. and Betty Catroux- what a wow gal, and I love the elegant madness of her husband's interiors. pgt

  8. Oh Swan! I need to get a "gig" to get the SF! I am reverting to the expressions of the 70's -I am a highly suggestible subject. I know that lecture was wonderful, I am going to download it. I have no doubt the B. coat and the SP were made for each other. So interesting your comments over at Diane's about the prints of Balenciaga. YOU Must write that guest post for Me. (on my knees) Gaye

  9. Barima-that is beautifully put. You should write that in a post! I do hope for me you will sojourn to see this treasure. pgt

  10. Laurent, please do write that story-I have no doubt you will illuminate me. I can not but help the punning it is in my nature! G.



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