Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style

Few things in life are breathtaking. Things that truly make you value living a little bit more, that make you pause life for a moment and relish in its beauty, things that you create an immediate connection with: these are the things that are truly breathtaking.

Yves Saint Laurent has always been a part of my Holy Trinity of fashion, with Coco Chanel being my God and Anna Wintour being Jesus Christ. Fashion has always been something that truly made me happy, that reflected who I was or wanted to portray. As I wandered into the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, camera in hand, my face lit up, like a child who is first in line to ride a roller coaster. This specialty exhibit, The Perfection of Style, is nothing short of divine perfection. His messy, yet perfectly fluid, sketches were as if they were drawn from the hands of God, with each detail shown and each woman appearing to have a story. As you trail through the maze of people, eyes are glued to the fabric swatches and flats adorned on the endless wall. His style evolution evolves with every step I take, with every passing decade; it’s almost as if he framed the decade with each garment. He pioneered an elegant, yet ballsy, way of not just dressing, but of carrying yourself as a powerful woman in society.

It was difficult to not stand and clog traffic, when at times I was so moved that I couldn’t think of anything but the art in front of me. I was thinking about this innovative man, envisioning this exquisite piece, waving his pencil like a conductor, letting each stroke echo a sweet, yet sad note. I was thinking about him crafting this flowing sculpture, draping and cutting and mastering the fabric. I was thinking about him putting all of himself, losing a part of himself, for the sake of his art, his passion. Some people didn’t understand it; they snapped their pictures, commented on the pretty colors, and moved with the flow of the crowd. I understood. Some people do understand. I understood the raw, painful and hard work, not only physically but mentally, that goes into chiseling a piece of art that you lose yourself in. It’s a beautiful feeling.

I believe that we should all live by his important words: “I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style”. Fashion should be about creating something that reflects who you are, every thought, every journey, every idea one possess. It isn’t a contest of who is the trendiest or the most groundbreaking or the best. Fashion is not a sport, but an art that must be molded and formed, like a diary. This exhibit not only was one that left me breathless, but also allowed me to form a connection with a man I never met, but felt that I could fully understand. I hope you feel the same way when you go.

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