During our recent visit to Paris it was inspiring to see the notebooks of Da Vinci that held hundreds of sketches and ideas on his varying interest. His expertise encompassed anatomy, engineering, astronomy, mathematics, natural history, architecture and painting to name a few areas that made Da Vinci one of the most versatile geniuses.
But, another exceptional creative power that we learned about while in this city was Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashion designs exerted an influence over most women of the world. What was intriguing are the notebooks and bookshelves of publications that served as sources of inspiration to these artists.
I was transfixed by Da Vinci’s notebooks, but when you walk through Saint Laurent’s studio one is totally mesmerized. The workspace is a bright, quiet, neutral space with a mirrored wall as a main feature so, the couturier could study a model’s reflection which offered the necessary distance for evaluating a garment. The simplicity of his desk is striking, which is a piece of plywood wrapped with muslin and set on sawhorses. Items are strewn around the desk with precious ornaments and talismans, including the walking stick of Christian Dior.
The studio setting offers an atmosphere that prevailed during preparations for a fashion show, when six or seven team members worked alongside Saint Laurent each day.