THE MUSÉE Yves Saint Laurent in Paris has opened its doors to the public once again in the wake of eased Covid-19 measures. Betty Catroux, Feminine Singular, an exhibition paying homage to the style and and influence of Catroux in her relationship with Yves Saint Laurent, is now welcoming visitors after a period of online exhibition.
An image from Betty Catroux
Catroux and Saint Laurent’s friendship is the stuff of legend. She is known both as his muse, a title that she rejects, and, in Saint Laurent’s his perfect female counterpart. In her words, they were “soulmates”, “kindred spirits” – inseparable from first sight.
Saint Laurent was already developing a sartorial style that pushed gendered boundaries, but it was Catroux’s peculiar brand of androgynous elegance that continued to inspire this in his work across his career. The Le Smoking and Safari jacket were among the pieces elevated by Catroux’s championship.
In 2019, Catroux donated her wardrobe to the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. This exhibition will engage some of these pieces to explore Catroux’s influence on the birth and longevity of some of Saint Laurent’s work.
Ranks of mannequins, sporting the classic Catroux feathered blonde fringe and dark glasses, will exhibit some of these pieces, alongside a series of photographs depicting Catroux and Saint Laurent across their extraordinary friendship.
By Connie de Pelet
Betty Catroux, Feminine Singular, is at Musée Yves Saint Laurent until May 9, 2021
Betty Catroux published by Saint Laurent Rive Droite and available exclusively at the Saint Laurent Rive Droite store in Paris