Elsa Janssen from the Yves Saint Laurent museum at the Gold, via Yves Saint Laurent exhibition and the fashion designer’s archives

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December 22, 2022

At the instance of the “Gold, via Yves Saint Laurent” exhibition, which opened on October 14 on the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris, FashionNetwork.com met with the museum’s director, Elsa Janssen. In place of work since March 2022, after ten years as exhibition director at Galeries Lafayette, she tells us what’s at the back of the legendary fashion designer’s museum and divulges his plans for 2023. The exhibition will stay open till Would possibly 14, 2023 .

Elsa Janssen – Yves Saint Laurent museum

FashionNetwork.com: How did you get a hold of the theory for this Gold exhibition, which you curated for the Yves Saint Laurent Museum?

Elsa Jansen: The theory used to be born from a sense I had whilst going throughout the archives of our collections. I noticed gold shining in all places. With the museum’s curatorial workforce, we started to discover the textiles and equipment that featured gold, and have been introduced with an immensity of chances and choices. If you end up the director of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, you do analysis, you dig, you learn, you meet other people, you do numerous analysis. What I preferred about this “gold” theme is that it allowed me to focus on probably the most sun, most lovely, maximum blissful, maximum superb facet of Yves Saint Laurent. It additionally allowed me to discover its connection to artwork historical past.

FNW: The way in which this exhibition is gifted is new, blending style and artwork. What’s your center of attention?

EX: What conjures up me so much is consistently visualizing and rethinking the craze display. How we provide style and particularly how we have a good time the modernity and genius of Yves Saint Laurent. For me, it should be inscribed in fashionable instances as a result of a genius transcends the ages. The necessary factor for us is to check in Yves Saint Laurent in time and thus make him discussion with lately’s skills. What additionally motivates us is the customer and his enjoy, who feels actual feelings when he sees this exhibition.

FNW: How did you do it?

EX: I attempted to support, to situate this exhibition in a real enjoy of good looks. At the one hand, looking to provide the works of Yves Saint Laurent in the most productive imaginable manner and, at the different, interesting to new professions, wisdom or skills that, most likely, weren’t essentially summoned earlier than in style museums, such because the set fashion designer Valérie Weill, editor Anna Klossowski and artist Johan Creten. It’s not a retrospective or a didactic exhibition. We in reality are an exhibition with a bodily and visible measurement. I attempt to create artwork, create frames and carry the craze exhibition up to imaginable to a visible and bodily exhibition, pulling in opposition to an artwork exhibition.

“I feel that an excellent style fashion designer is an aesthete”

FNW: Have you ever controlled to draw a brand new target market?

EX: The theory is to have a difficult program, however intelligible to most of the people. As an example, the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in museums initiated via our president Madison Cox, the place 100 and twenty items from the everlasting collections of the Heart Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée d’Artwork Moderne, the Musée Picasso and have been introduced the Louvre, attracted numerous other people. These types of museums showed how a lot this invitation had energized the general public.

FNW: Did style draw in extra guests?

EX: No longer style. It used to be the dynamic that used to be created across the enjoy. You do not put anything else in entrance of a Picasso, a Fernand Léger or a Bonnard! There may be such proof of inventive gesture in Yves Saint Laurent and his dialog with artwork. After all, the fashion designer is widely recognized. Then again, style makes most of the people really feel extra relaxed and most likely other people would by no means have long gone to consult with the everlasting collections of the Museum of Fashionable Artwork, which alternatively, I remind you, are loose. And right here, because of Yves Saint Laurent, they have been drawn and have been in a position, thru this exhibition, I am hoping, to enjoy fashionable artwork as neatly.

FNW: What do you recall to mind the connection between style designers and artwork?

EX: I feel that an excellent style fashion designer is an aesthete. He is aware of artwork historical past, loves artwork, and speaks the language. Artwork has at all times been a type of inspiration, be it recent artwork or historical artwork. An ideal style fashion designer can also be impressed via artwork historical past, but additionally via nature and good looks. I feel they’re cultivated aesthetes and that there’s a actual sincerity on this imaginative and prescient of artwork.

Probably the most major items within the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition – © David Bailey / Fashion Paris

FNW: What’s your function as director of the museum?

EX: I’m additionally chargeable for a suite that lately is made up of 8,500 high fashion items, 4,000 items from the Left Financial institution, greater than 55,000 authentic sketches, in addition to 1000’s of pictures and archive documentation, visible, sound, and so forth. The whole thing is right here. Our activity is to maintain this assortment, to ensure it’s visual lately and sooner or later. In relation to preventive conservation, those textile items want darkness, a particularly exact stage of humidity. We have now to ensure they do not become worse through the years, on the identical time we do restorations. As well as, in fact, we should worth it.

FNW: How can such archives be valued?

EX: Thru a program of exhibitions in situ, subsequently within the museum, but additionally thru exhibitions outdoor the museum. Those can also be arranged in co-production with cultural establishments. We’re lately making ready an exhibition with the Cité de los angeles dentelle et de los angeles mode in Calais at the transparency of the paintings of Yves Saint Laurent. It is going to happen subsequent June on the Cité, then in January 2024 at our area in Paris. On this case, we paintings at the side of a collegiate curator. We additionally do necessary retrospectives in another country. In 2023, 150 textile items can be introduced on the Nationwide Artwork Heart in Tokyo. This would be the biggest Yves Saint Laurent exhibition ever observed in Japan. We also are selling the gathering thru a lot of books.

FNW: Do you might have any present challenge?

EX: Yves Saint Laurent is a determine that continues to encourage many authors. A comic book challenge is underway, for instance. The whole thing within the fashion designer’s paintings is topic to additional find out about. The masculine/female, imaginary trips, shapes, colours, tributes to artists… We even have medical collaborations with universities and style faculties. We welcome researchers who come to paintings and meet the ones chargeable for the textile, graphic arts and images collections.

“Already in 1966, Yves Saint Laurent put a museum M, M on all of the items he sought after to archive”

FNW: How are the museum archives characterised?

EX: What I realize is the particularity and protean persona of the Yves Saint Laurent archives. He compulsively drew, as much as 200 drawings an afternoon! Type drawings in fact, but additionally drawings associated with his courting with the appearing arts, non-public drawings. As an example, there may be all the collection of Paper Dolls, and even moderately satirical drawings. Nowadays his drawings have turn out to be very precious and in gross sales they have got turn out to be very dear. Sadly, they’re harder for us to obtain. However we’re fortunate to have lots of them.

FNW: Those treasures had been preserved because of the foresight of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. Are we able to speak about pioneers of favor archives?

EX: Sure, they have been pioneers within the conservation of items. As early as 1966, Yves Saint Laurent put an M, M for museum, on all of the items he sought after to archive. That is one thing that many homes have no longer carried out and are actually looking to catch as much as. What makes us sturdy is the rigor inherited from the 2 founders of the home, with Pierre Bergé’s admiration for Yves Saint Laurent and his conviction that the items created via the fashion designer have been similar to artwork. When the basis used to be created, they arrange a complete conservation device with sliding cabinets. So the amenities are there, and lately the principle funding is within the apparatus. The museum employs fifteen other people.

Les Papers Dolls – Yves Saint Laurent Museum

FNW: How is that this museum financed?

EX: Part is financed via its personal source of revenue, particularly from our price tag gross sales. We’re fortunate to have a big and really unswerving target market. The opposite part from personal resources.

FNW: How is it structured?

EX: The Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Basis used to be created in 2002, in a while after the fashion designer’s retirement announcement, and used to be established within the personal mansion on Street Marceau, which had housed the craze area since 1974. It owns the home’s property, this is, the gathering, the construction, the heritage, and has delegated to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris Affiliation, when the museum used to be created in 2017, the conservation, exploitation and dissemination of the gathering. The root, for its phase, is now dedicated to patronage movements within the box of textile coaching. Above all, in 2017, Pierre Bergé ensured that the gathering received the designation of “Musée de France”, this is, inside the which means of the Heritage Code, an inalienable and imprescriptible assortment. It enjoys the protecting felony standing of Nationwide Treasure and is safe via the State.

“Anthony Vaccarello and his groups come to have a look at the museum’s collections”

FNW: Do you might have any connection to the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakech?

EX: The Marrakech museum belongs to a construction this is in Morocco. This can be a pole that homes 3 entities, the Majorelle Lawn, the Pierre Bergé Museum of Berber Arts and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. We paintings intently with this museum and its director Alexis Sornin. Olivier Saillard is lately making ready an exhibition entitled Trait Portraits, which is able to open in March in Marrakech.

FNW: What’s your courting with the Saint Laurent logo, which has belonged to the Kering workforce since 1999?

EX: We have now an excellent courting. Anthony Vaccarello and his groups come to watch the collections and lend us items for our exhibitions. We have now a not unusual heritage which is Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent. I suppose for lately’s ingenious director, the theory is to pay attention to this heritage, whilst proceeding to push the logo ahead.

FNW: What has been your skilled trajectory?

EX: For greater than ten years, I used to be director of exhibitions at Galeries Lafayette. I directed an exhibition house that used to be the Galerie des Galeries, on Side road Haussmann. I placed on about 40 exhibitions and puzzled myself so much concerning the connection between artwork and style and about what an exhibition in a division retailer used to be. He gave me a type of freedom. I went on the lookout for an inventiveness, the place I may just invite skills from other worlds of recent advent.

FNW: Who did you’re employed with particularly?

EX: I used to be fortunate to paintings with style designers like Christian Lacroix, Kris Van Assche, Jean-Paul Lespagnard. But in addition with musicians like Philippe Katerine and nice artists like Alex Prager or Xavier Veilhan. I had numerous a laugh developing reveals, at all times conversing with those worlds, by no means in reality compartmentalizing. Imagine the enjoy of the exhibition as an enjoy that may be idea via other authors, wherein we will be able to in finding song, sound, artwork and style.

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