Exhibition

Yves Saint Laurent, Abraham and animal prints

Yves Saint Laurent at the exhibition Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Yves Saint Laurent at the exhibition Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Gustav Zumsteg’s first meeting with Yves Saint Laurent, at the funeral of Christian Dior in 1957, marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship. The two men’s business ties also lasted several decades, their unparalleled collaboration benefiting greatly from the fact that they were kindred spirits. Yves Saint Laurent’s last haute couture collection of 2002 coincided with the demise of Abraham Ltd.

Yves Saint Laurent at the exhibition Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Yves Saint Laurent at the exhibition Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Animal prints at the exhibition Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Animal prints at the exhibition Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

The imitation of nature poses one of the greatest challenges in textile design. These animal prints are remarkable for their application of mimesis, their extreme naturalism, and the way they play with abstraction and illusion. Translating a leopard’s spots or snakeskin into a print invariably pushes designers to the limit.