Fashion, Creativity and Paper

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal

The influential design of French fashion icon, Yves Saint Laurent is celebrated with the opening of the first such UK exhibition of his life and work at The Bowes Museum, County Durham.  A 40 year career at the helm of his own famed label, which transformed contemporary womenswear, is explored through the designer’s archive and fifty of his most iconic garments.

James Cropper Paper has partnered with The Bowes Museum as sponsor of the lavish exhibition catalogue and provider of materials for the innovative exhibition design, which puts paper at the heart of the designer’s story.

From the notation of ideas and initial sketches to the swing tag that sells each item of clothing, paper is a regular companion in the journey of fashion design. Saint Laurent was no different, expressing early creativity in the meticulous execution of handcrafted paper dolls and drawing great inspiration from the work of artists and writers found in print as well as on canvas. The archive which remains following his death in 2008, and safeguarded by Fondation Pierre Bergé, allows future generations to map the designer’s career in drawings, patterns and specification documents.

The company’s paper plays a role as a backdrop to the exhibition itself. The remarkable exhibition design includes small reels of white paper, specially cut to length, hanging in the ‘Glass Cube’ and reels of a black board printed to create a timeline along the entire length of the gallery.

Uncoated papers in classic white and grey shades from the Vanguard collection also featured as VIP invitations, sections within the specially produced catalogue and also the exhibition guide. Members of the James Cropper PLC team, including Chief Executive, Phil Wild, were present at the exhibition launch on Thursday 9 July.

Chris Brown, Commercial Director, said: “Our support of this landmark exhibition maintains our public support for exhibitions and events that explore innovation in creativity and how integral paper is to art and design processes. Yves Saint Laurent is a monumental name in international fashion and, as suppliers of custom papers to many of the world’s most renowned fashion houses and cosmetics companies, we are proud to have come together with The Bowes Museum to celebrate his life and work.”

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal is open at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham until Sunday 25 October 2015.