With 1970s style in the air for spring and a bit of winter 2015, it seems to be the ideal time to linger and appreciated the iconic founders of some of these easy chic styles. Yves Saint Laurent + Halston, Fashioning the 70s opened at The museum at FIT, during this fashion week and runs until April 18th, 2015. Two of the most important names influencing fashion at this time; Yves Saint Laurent and Halston are being examined. From the lighting, to the concave glass , stands, creamy backdrop and metal curtain details; the show really does a great job of displaying the clothing and yes, accessories created by the designers.
YSL and Halston dresses exhibited together. Sarara Couture image.
The FIT collection holds some of the most noteworthy examples from each designer laid out by dates with a focus on the 1970s collections. There are some items and discourse of years that led up to and a bit after the 1970s, allowing for one to really evaluate the designs. They play with some similarities the designer shared, at different moments in their careers… At points you find yourself checking the credits, was it Halston or YSL? Perhaps FIT’s museum best summarizes it by saying:
“All of the nearly 100 objects on view within the exhibition are drawn exclusively from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection. With such narrow parameters—two designers and one museum collection—the exhibition is decidedly not a survey of 1970s fashion, nor is it a retrospective of each designer’s work. Instead, it is a curatorial exploration, a re-evaluation of Saint Laurent and Halston set within the larger cultural landscape of the dreamy, indolent, sexy 1970s” (The Museum at FIT).
Exhibit section view/ YSL items to the left and mostly Halston gowns to the right. Sarara Couture.com
While, what you see mostly come from the museum’s vast archive, including an important Halston collection, various noteworthy clients, editors and the like have donated pieces. Credits are displayed under each outfit….. Also, In the spirit of the Fashion Institute of Technology, when you walk inside, they first treat you to a mini educational exhibit of the history of the fake. This enlightens and reminds us all just how long fakes, authorized copies and the like have been part of fashion history, with copies of Vionnet, Chanel and Paul Pioret’s during the 1920s on display. Great section for collectors and sellers to review.
View of educational video screen on display at the Faking it exhibit. Image Sarara Couture.
Once you journey to the lower level and main exhibit, so to speak, the elevator opens to a creamy white hallway with disco ball glass lighting reflecting on the timeline. Here the graph joins the history of the two designers before you walk into the main exhibit.
YSL/ Halston timeline featured in the outer area of the exhibit. Sarara Couture.
Once inside the viewer takes in the shared inspirations of the designers, including menswear and non-Western cultures. Yet, those who know the works of both designers well, will also enjoy the way the exhibit highlights each distinct perspective. As a wearer and appreciator of YSL clothing, there were a few pieces that made me want to cry with joy. Of course, I would love to add the perfect Halston gown to my wardrobe and the exhibit serves up many drool worthy examples. At this point, rather than do an analysis of YSL and Halston, which has been done via FIT and their exhibit. I wanted to focus in on the belts, jewelry, hats and complete looks that inspired me. Also, the post won’t spoil as much for those who have yet to attend the exhibit. However; just in case one becomes overwhelmed by the large assortment of fashion history once inside, this post should help you focus in a bit on the accessories as well.
1976 YSL, Cape, part of an ensemble. French. Wool, velveteen, nylon. Sarara Couture image, rights reserved.
Halston’s 1974 floor length sequin gown. Sarara Couture image.
I really enjoyed the effort the curators made to create complete looks and which highlighted how important the original fashion accessories created at the time were to the designs. While focusing on the Yves Saint Laurent accessories and jewelry by Elsa Peretti for Halston was at moments overshadowed by garments such as Halston’s sexy chic 1974 sequin gown- concentrate, I did!
1967 YSL African evening dress, stunning iconic example which make it hard to focus on anything!
Era fashion image of Twiggy in a 1967 YSL African dress.
A Look at Original Accessories and Jewelry In Context/ Identification Guide:
YSL Rive Gauche 1977, “Peasant outfit”. Sarara Couture images throughout.
Closeup belt image.
1976 “Russian” YSL hat.
Gift of Lauren Bacall, 1968 Rive Gauche tassel belt. This piece makes me more excited to see the Fit Lauren Bacall exhibit coming in March.
Built in accessories via Halston’s 1982 embellished dress.
Black velvet coolie style hat, 1977. Part of YSL’s “Chinese” inspired ensemble.
Definitely a favorite look, 1972 jersey Halston floor length caftan and Elsa Peretti sterling “vessel” necklace, 1975 on silk cord.
Vintage Elsa Peretti Halston “vessel” necklace ad. Original ad. Image is vintage and not by Sarara Couture.
Full area of Halston caftans, including full view of red piece.
Close up on Elsa Peretti 1971 sterling silver belt.
1977 “Chinese” collection silk, detail of fringe belt. YSL.
1968 Safari shirt and smaller belt. The larger size circular belt original outfit was photographed by Helmut Newton on Verushka in 1968.
Finally, this noteworthy gilt 1968 Chanel Pate Verre fashion brooch from the Faking it exhibit :