Ensemble, Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961), a) wool, plastic, metal, silk; b) wool; c) wool, plastic, metal, leather; d) wool, silk; e) silk, French

Ensemble

Design House:
Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961)
Designer:
Yves Saint Laurent (French (born Algeria) Oran 1936–2008 Paris)
Date:
spring/summer 1973
Culture:
French
Medium:
a) wool, plastic, metal, silk; b) wool; c) wool, plastic, metal, leather; d) wool, silk; e) silk
Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas L. Kempner, 2006
Accession Number:
2006.420.40a–e
Not on view
While prioritizing functional concerns, Mrs. Kempner's daywear and active sportswear also accommodated her taste for luxurious materials and elegant tailoring. Fall and winter, especially, encouraged Mrs. Kempner's impulse to mix a variety of designer labels and components from various ensembles into new compositions. Although fur appears in her wardrobe, it is seen infrequently as a full jacket or coat and is instead as trim or incorporated into a lining. Rather than wear a fur coat, Mrs. Kempner preferred the strategy of layering, often draping a shawl over her jacket or light coat. Still, Mrs. Kempner's astute consciousness of her narrow figure generally controlled any impulse she might have had to obliterate herself with too much cloth. One haute couture model, the Yves Saint Laurent coat and sweater-suit ensemble, was only rarely worn as a whole. Mrs. Kempner remarked, "These pieces added at least twenty new looks to my wardrobe," suggesting that the rich complexity of the original yielded any number of simplified combinations.
Marking: a) [label] "YVES SAINT LAURENT / PARIS / MADE IN FRANCE / 31509"
c) [label] "YVES SAINT LAURENT / PARIS / MADE IN FRANCE / 31510"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nan Kempner: American Chic," December 12, 2006–March 4, 2007.