Homage to Picasso: Scarlet, Blue, Intense and Bold
Monday 13th August, 2018
Yves Saint Laurent

At the end of "Flowered Earth-Toned Kimono Top", I said that I would love to have a copy of the top styled in the same colours and designs as the "Homage to Pablo Picasso" dress shown halfway down "Should Fashion Legacies Be Controlled" by Suzy Menkes, 12 June 2017. Her feature, published in Turkish Vogue is about Pierre Bergé, co-founder of the Yves Saint Laurent label, and his plans for museums in Paris and Marrakech to house and exhibit an archive of 5,000 clothes, 15,000 accessories, and numerous sketches. Menkes writes:

Saint Laurent will hold his lofty position in these two permanent exhibitions, designed to keep the single flame alive. Perhaps the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent deserves this unique position, since he was the first living designer to have been granted a retrospective show at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art back in 1983.

Thumbnail showing one of Yves Saint-Laurent's 'Homage to Pablo 
Picasso dresses' In my mind, one design that most certainly contributes to this unique position is the "Homage to Pablo Picasso" dress. Not wanting to violate copyright, I've shrunk a picture of it, making it just big enough to tempt you to view the original. I hope that will be acceptable under fair use. To see the original, read the in the Vogue link above. Or you can see it in tbe BBC's feature "How one man changed fashion forever", by Dominic Lutyens, 3 October 2017. In the latter, it's the dress on the right. Gaze and admire.

One thing I like about it is the vivid scarlet. Another is the shape: the well defined waist, the flared skirt, and the leg-of-mutton sleeves. And a third, I've realised, is the sheer boldness of the designs on the skirt. The blues and greens and blacks and purples are thick thick thick. They're the antithesis of High Street designs today. Google "river island floral dress" to see what I mean. Or "gap floral dress", or "next floral dress", or ... .

Why this should be, I don't know. Surely these companies have the technology to do better. Is it really too expensive to employ it and still sell at a reasonable price? Is it really too expensive to pay a proper artist to design the decoration, and to spread the cost of doing so over every unit sold?