YSL lives on..

3_real_studio_mental_studio_mg_9627(Photo by Sophie Carre)

Back to reality..almost..

There are certain places I have visited only in my dreams, but one day, one day Rodders, I’ll get there…Coco chanel’s apartment, the Picasso Museum in Antibes..and the Studio of Yves Saint Laurent at 5 Avenue Marceau, 75116 Paris.


For a lucky few and until the July 21, it’s possible to go on a guided tour of the studio and library courtesy of the Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. The Foundation was set up to share the forty years of accumulated memories and artefacts of this iconic creator with his intimidating reputation for excellence and meticulous sculpting of cloth.

Oh to be a speck of dust. To be still and drink it in.

detail_du_salon vue_du_grand_salon vue_densemble_grand_salon

But if I can’t be there in person. Sigh. There is still the internet – part of the Foundations aims is to promote cultural projects and with this in mind, they are releasing all sorts of wonder through their site which is so worth a visit.  For instance, there are the production boards..


Illustrating 1283 production drawings from 81 Haute Couture collections from 1962- 2002. Each garment features a sketch, a sample of fabric from which the final garment was produced, the name of the couture workshop that produced it, the name of the model that wore it and even the order in which she walked during the Fashion Show.  It is a little glittering cyber treasure trove…


It’s also possible to buy a beautifully bound four book edition of the Production Drawings. And if I had 2,100 euros handy..I would.

The latest release from the Website is the ‘Paper Dolls’ – Yves Saint Laurent made these beauties between 1948 – 1949 using from amongst other things, cuttings from his mother’s favourite magazines – Vogue, Jardin des Modes and Paris-Match.  These fragile works of art are the physical embodiment of his vivid, verdant imagination and somehow make him feel very human..touchable even.


The website allows you to pick a ‘doll’ and then choose her outfit by clicking on it..how super cool!

DOLLS10-2012-04-10-020 2012.04.20.008 2012-04-20-023 DOLLS01-2012-04-01-011 DOLLS09-2012-04-09-001 DOLLS09-2012-04-09-012 DOLLS09-2012-04-09-004 DOLLS09-2012-04-09-033 DOLLS09-2012-04-09-007 2012-04-20-031

Hours and hours of nostalgic Haute Couture pleasure…with more than a little bit of fairy dust.

Laters, Kate xxx


  1. vintageattitude

    Thank you thank you….such joy with my porridge! Those paper dolls are my first memory of loving fashion. I spent hours with them as a child…..off to the site right now…sod work!!! Xx

  2. MasonBentley

    Would have been nice if the links had worked!!..all sorted now though..just goes to show..never rush! Tried to post before doing the school run as have to go to Tudor Fashion exhibition at Buck Palace now..as you do! Can’t wait x

  3. Lia in Brussels

    I’m glad at least I got a glimpse of the production boards and paper dolls, here in Brussels, earlier in the year… the availability in Paris is extremely limited right now *sigh*… hopefully they’ll repeat this in the future. Until thenTudor fashion exhibition should be a grest consolation 😉

    • MasonBentley

      You lucky thing – the Production Boards look inspirational and cover one of my favourite periods. The Tudor fashion exhibition was excellent..very good audio guide to go round with (never thought I would ever listen to pop music in Buckingham Palace!) with additional video clips..cleverly done. One clip was about the making of handmade lace..just incredible. They were happy for pictures so hope to post some soon xxxx

    • MasonBentley

      Lucky girl! It’s a long time since I’ve been to Paris – will the children be with you? Long long way for you! Keep an eye on the website – it seems to link to another one that offers all sorts of interesting things to do.. xxxxx

    • MasonBentley

      They would be the joy of having something visual and tangible to hold..and the thought they could one day be a heirloom that no moths could destroy! Must tell you there is a blog Blog ->www.vintagehaberdashers.com that currently has some vintage swimsuits – he always has interesting stuff – these are mens, but I thought you might appreciate a look (link seems to be playing up – I will check it) xxx

    • MasonBentley

      The website is very much worth a browse..like an open door into a world of heaven and you get a glimpse in..I will be keeping my eye on it as I think there is more to come..I certainly hope so! xxx

  4. fashionassist

    Looove these paper dolls + the story behind them…
    I too played with paper dolls for hours but somehow mine did not help me launch the incredible fashion career that YSL’s did…lol…
    maybe I was using the wrong magazines?!!!
    Another great post + très intéressant~

  5. Scott Mackenzie

    Nice to meet you. When I grew up it was Yves St. Laurent. Lately, I’ve noticed that the guys kicks are labeled “Saint Laurent” Do you know if this is a sub label or if the Yves Saint Laurent team changed the name? LMK if you know. Thanks Scott at http://www.streetzblog.com in Hawaii. Thanks SM

    • MasonBentley

      The name changed in the summer of 2012 as a result of Heidi Slimane taking over..it’s now officially Saint Laurent Paris or SLP xxx