Monday, May 14, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent, Madeline Albright, and Denver

Saturday was my 28th wedding anniversary so my husband and I used our VIP tickets (thanks, Fairlight!) to the Denver Art Museum's exclusive exhibit, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective.  Two of our kids attended the exhibit in April with their high school French classes, and came home raving about it.  They were not overstating--it is absolutely one of the best exhibits I've had the opportunity to attend.

Here's what the DAM had to say about its exhibit:
A sweeping retrospective of the designer’s 40 years of creativity, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective features a stunning selection of 200 haute couture garments along with numerous photographs, drawings, and films that illustrate the development of Saint Laurent's style and the historical foundations of his work. Organized thematically, the presentation melds design and art to explore the full arc of Saint Laurent’s career, from his first days at Dior in 1958 through the splendor of his evening dresses from 2002. The DAM will be the only United States venue for the exhibition.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a slave to fashion, but the exhibit was visually stunning and historically interesting.  Definitely fashion as art.

My favorite pieces?  I thought the African, Moroccan and Russian pieces were absolutely stunning as well as the Van Gogh inspired Iris Jacket.

But the final gallery was the best, with the variations on black suits...

and the collection of ball gowns that were on display with Carl Maria von Weber's
Invitation to the Dance playing in the background.

Since Denver is the only U.S. venue for this exhibit, you might want to check out the book version: Yves Saint Laurent.

After we had feasted our eyes on the luscious colors and lines of YSL, we had a superb lunch at Palettes, the restaurant at the DAM, and then went to the Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection exhibit. 

Again, here's what the DAM had to say about this exhibit:

Drawn from the personal collection of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, this exhibition features more than 200 pins, many of which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message or a mood during her diplomatic tenure. Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection examines the collection for its historical ties as well as the expressive power of jewelry and its ability to communicate through a language of its own. The collection that Secretary Albright cultivated is distinctive and democratic—sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken—spanning more than a century of jewelry design and including fascinating pieces from across the globe. The works on view are chosen for their symbolic value, and while some are fine antiques, many are costume jewelry.

I absolutely loved reading about the various pins Madeline Albright wore during her political career--how she acquired them, chose which to wear on which occasions, and what other world leaders had to say about them.

If you're interested in the topic, Albright has a book on the subject, Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box that's now on my wish list.

All in all, a wonderful way to celebrate an anniversary.  And to top it off, Sunday was Mother's Day.  What a wonderful weekend!


  1. Sounds amazing Jane. Thanks for sharing. Now I have to see if it is coming to Canada!

  2. I am no fashion queen either, but I would dearly love to see that display. Thanks so much for the pictures! A belated Happy Anniversary to you!