Yves Saint Laurent + Halston:
Fashioning the 70s
– Style Rewind
by: Raquel Guerrero
Iconic inspirations to the world of fashion, both Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, famously known as Yves Saint Laurent and Roy Halston Frowick, American Fashion designer Halston are celebrated in a special exhibition Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s at The Museum at FIT.
The exhibition drawn solely from the Museum at FIT’s private collection is the first of its kind to juxtapose two historical fashion designers with the intent of highlighting themes and styles from the 1970s showing how they influenced current trends of today, proving that Yves Saint Laurent and Halston were worldly innovative clothing designers.
It was on a very cold day in February when I decided to make the trip and see the exhibition of two of the best fashion designers in modern history. Located at the basement of the Museum at FIT, visitors were presented with a timeline showcasing the two designer’s careers while simultaneously showing how the designers’ lives paralleled and contrasted each other.
A bigger, enclosed room painted in white, displayed both designers’ collection in glass cubicles and platforms. The theme was classic 70s and tunes from Earth, Wind, and Fire as well as other tunes from that decade inundated the overall theme that appealed to the surroundings reminiscent of nights spent at the famed Studio 54 where the two designers frequented.
Yves Saint Laurent’s exotic motif was the key element of his style. His garments were intricate, feminine, and full of drama and fantasy. Many of his pieces were adaptations from interwar clothing from the 1920s and 1930s.
In contrast, Halston interpreted his designs in subtle allusions of simplicity. He emphasized on simple lines and had a more relaxed style. His early works from the 1940s included the basic cashmere sweater sets and his tailored suits and dresses emphasized on having discreet enclosures, painstakingly hiding all zippers and buttons.
Halston projected an image of a minimalist visible in his design in fashion as well as home decor. He utilized historical elements into his work which were less ostentatious and used neutral shades and non-traditional patterned fabrics.
Saint Laurent on the other hand, indulged himself with intricate and elegant ornamental designs. There was an absolute feel of femininity in his garment construction. Saint Laurent delved on the “Exotic”; his garments meticulously sewn often with flowy skirts. His designs captured an elegance of traditional ornamentalism with varied intricate patterns and vibrant colors and sheen.
Yes the 70s was known for its tie dye and psychedelic trends as well as flared and bell bottom pants, but Yves Saint Laurent and Halston relegated their designs to decadent and chic clothing atypical of 70s fashion.
The exhibition runs through April 18, 2015.
It’s a perfect time to make a visit!
Admission is free.