“We were soulmates – kindred spirits,” says Betty Catroux, blonde hair falling straight to frame her face, dark glasses hiding her eyes, a glass of champagne in hand – all designed to present her as a caricature of herself.
The famous ‘muse’ of designer Yves Saint Laurent (who died in 2008) is currently duplicated many times over in the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris.
It is the first time that the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent has been focused on a study dedicated to a partner of the designer – rather than he himself. After Catroux had given the bulk of her YSL wardrobe to the house, she was offered a chance to make a hers-and-his story.
“It’s really focussing on the wardrobe of Betty Catroux and how she was using and wearing Yves Saint Laurent garments in a different way,” says Olivier Flaviano, the musée’s Director of Collections. “That’s the whole idea of this exhibition – not to recreate the look as Saint Laurent himself thought it should be, but as Betty thought it should be worn.