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Yves Saint Laurent
Photograph: Gabriele Maltinti /

A huge new Yves Saint Laurent exhibition is taking over six museums in Paris

The show will span 60 years and celebrate YSL’s life and works

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Fashion is – obviously – art, but sometimes that fact needs to be hammered home a bit. Loads of fashion designers aren’t recognised as generation-defining artists, but they definitely should be. And that’s exactly what’s going to be happening soon in Paris, as a huge exhibition takes over several of the city’s most famous museums.

The fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its first show by commandeering six of Paris’s mightiest institutions. From January 29 to May 15 2022, the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation will have exhibitions at the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Pompidou Centre, Museum of Modern Art, Picasso Museum and Yves Saint Laurent Museum – all to celebrate YSL’s life and works.

So, why does it take six museums to pay tribute to him? Well, they’re clearly making a point about how influential the guy was. But also, each museum will have a different focus and theme. The wider idea is to highlight the artistic value of YSL’s work, and argue that he should be considered true contemporary of some of France’s most famous artists.

The Louvre, for instance, will highlight his love of gold, while the Pompidou will focus on his modernity. The Picasso Museum will look at the influence of your man Pablo on his garms, while the Musée d’Orsay will examine the influence of writer Marcel Proust. The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition will focus on YSL’s use of colour, before the Yves Saint Laurent Museum goes all-out with its vast collection, drawing largely on Saint Laurent’s personal archives.

Which all sounds pretty darn fascinating, if you ask us. The general event is called ‘Yves Saint Laurent Aux Musées’, entry costs vary by museum (from free to €17), and while all exhibitions will run until May 15, some are on for longer than others. Check each museum’s website for more information.

Looking for more great stuff to do while you’re there? Here are the 81 best things to do in Paris according to us.

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