Tuesday, April 17, 2012

YSL Studio Visit

 If you get the chance do visit YSL's studio in Paris. It's a 'private' tour(1 hr 13,50 €/pers) so you must reserve ahead with Cultival.fr and it's offered only a few times per month.

 We met outside at 4pm the Pierre Berge Fondation
5 avenue Marceau 75016

 Checking in at reception. There were about 20 of us. The guide mostly spoke French but gave 3 of us a mini synopses of what was what.

 First stop YSL's lush salon where private buyers came to look and try on the latest couture.

 The walls are covered with wash drawings by witty artist Christian Berard, a friend of YSL

 Then up to the designer's working studio. Here YSL sketching on the floor with his French bulldog, Moujik ever by his side.

 It's quite a thrill to stand in this reknown designer's studio believe me. The wall behind us was floor-to-ceiling windows letting in gorgeous light.

 A stolen closeup of a beaded jacket. Of course no photos are allowed during the visit. Do not mention my name if you go. Doodly-doodly-do

 Our guide shows us sample muslins - the first step in the design process. When I attended Parsons School of Design my muslins were OUTSTANDING. (Outstandingly horrid - badly-pressed with breakfast stains on  them).

 Natch I was attracted to Yves Saint-Laurent's immaculate drafting table

Yves used blue Staedtler Mars drawing pencils like I do.
I asked the guide what number lead pencil YSL used and quick as wink she told me,
'Number 2 pencil' I use a number 6B, but I still feel almost joined at the hip with cher YSL.
 We then descended to the bibliotheque where 5,000+ of YSL's design sketches are preserved in an orderly fashion, year by year, collection by collection.

 While the rest of the group went off to the see the current Japanese Kimono exhibit, I high tailed it to the little gift shop loaded with fun, pas cher goodies (none of them wearable malheureusment)

 I bought the Warhol print of Mujik and the latest cahier de coloriage/YSL coloring book (see first picture above).

 His sketches so the collection, YSL Style with swatches included on the sketch pages always inspire me.

 You won't find Alice Drake's The Beautiful Fall at the YSL gift shop. And no wonder. It's loaded with all the naughtiness/betises YSL, Karl and the gang in the wild '60's indulged in. No detail is left out, still I love Drake's writing. She makes you feel you're there at the table downing a coup with Yves and the rest of them.
 Here's a snipet about Yves childhood in Algiers- totally enthralling.

 The high point of my visit/trip was when the current 'Moujik' came bouncing out the front door. The guards kindly called him back to pose for a picture and a bit of petting. I think I'm in love.
Moujik je t'aime.


  1. French bulldogs are so dear!

  2. Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

  3. With regard to your muslins...
    "...badly-pressed with breakfast stains on them."

    I take this as a precursor to your current, admirable, status as the last word regarding Paris Breakfasts.

    P.S. - Have they been cloning Moujik?

    1. Right on Ayik!
      I'm much better at Paris Breakfasts then breakf-stained fashion muslins :)

      As for Moujik,
      there was a new 'Moujik' always waiting in the wings for YSL. He could not be without this particular kind of pup.
      I didn't expect the Moujik tradition to continue but the lastest version is a real Sweetie.

  4. What a great idea!! I'm going to sign up for this for the summer months :)

    Thanks for sharing!!

    x Milsters


  5. Anonymous1:24 PM

    LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and will happily follow. If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se

  6. Geri, NJ1:25 PM

    The doggie is darling and your sketch captures him to a T!

  7. Cake From Spain1:55 PM

    I really like your job.
    You're a good painter.
    Thanks for sharing your art.

    Best Regards,
    Cake From Spain

  8. Great and cute post, as always, Carol.
    I love the comment above that says "I really like your job." Reminds me of the title of the book done by Milton Glaser, re his incredible life as an Artist; "Art Is Work."
    We have to let the public think it is MAGIC.

  9. This was so much fun! Merci!!!! And I love your drawings. When do we get to see your atelier?

  10. Elizabeth2:56 PM

    You will be able to take photos to your heart's content at the Balenciaga exhibit at "Les Docks" in the 13e.
    Don't miss when you return to Paris! Interesting area...right on the Seine.
    I like this new exhibition space.

    Balenciaga's costumes (both his own and his collection of old costumes and folkloric things) will amaze you and are things that could probably never be reproduced today. Point of fact:
    check out the Comme des Garcons collection next door.
    Can't compare.

  11. Divina fr the Philippines3:11 PM

    I like how you present your slice of life and ideas ... colorful, succint, luscious ... just the right amount of copy and yes, lots of photos and beautiful artwork.
    It's my easiest, fastest but always enjoyable blog-reads.
    More power..--
    Divina fr the Philippines :)

  12. I would love to visit YSL's studio. Great pics!

  13. Looks like you had fun! He built quite an empire!
    I love the dog.

  14. there was a big expo in MOntreal few years back ....history of YSL's work and my hubby took me there, I loved it lots! He was a genius(:
    thanks for the tip...merci!

  15. What fun. I would never have thought of such an interesting and amazing tour. I love it that you didn't take photos!

  16. enjoyed your YSL.
    got to go to his blue and yellow home and garden in morocco last year
    and to an fashion exhibit in San Fran. when I lived there.

  17. You have so much fun and find more interesting things to do. Thanks for sharing with us. Love the bull dog drawings.

  18. .. oh what fun ... I bought Beautiful Fall the last time you talked about it, recommended it to another Paris-mad friend .. she read it and LOVED it, and I am still waiting to start ... this may do it ... no juice left out I hear ... best to you, great post as usual.

    Karen in CT

  19. What a treat Carol
    Fascinating images and info!!
    xoxo Karena

  20. I was also often reprimanded on the quality of my muslins in Fashion School ... glad I don't have to do that kind of stuff anymore!

  21. Carol, I know that I'd also love to see YSL's studio, and thank you for letting us know it's possible.

    Thank you also for the pencil question...just what I would have wanted to know. (I love those Mars Staedtlers, too, vering between HB through 3B, with occasional exercises involving 4, 5 and 6B.)

    You definitely captured that sweet little doggie's charm!


  22. wonderful, Carol! Love your drawing of the little guy!

  23. Oh, the Holy of Holies! How DO you get into those places???

    I love seeing where inspirational people work - famous or good friends. I love to see the things they have on their desks, the phoos they have framed, the piles of papers, the books with notes in them...it gives so much context and insight into their creative processes.

  24. Fantastic post Carol...I'll certainly have to book. Merci beaucoup.

  25. OH! I hate you!!!

    this is absolutely fabulous...a YSL studio goes on my next 'to see' list.
    What a great tour!
    Je suis tres verte!!!


Love hearing from you