The BETTY CATROUX themed exhibition to pay tribute to the muse and « female clone » of YVES SAINT LAURENT will open in Shanghai in 2021

Betty Catu-Yves Saint Laurent
Unique temperament, inspirational muse
Saint Laurent Fashion Show

June 18, 2021-August 15, 2021

Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art

The BETTY CATROUX themed exhibition to pay tribute to the muse and « female clone » of YVES SAINT LAURENT will open in Shanghai in 2021

Betty Catroux (Image copyright belongs to its owner)

The famous fashion brand Saint Laurent held a grand theme exhibition in Shanghai to pay tribute to the muse and « female clone » Betty Catroux of Yves Saint Laurent-« Betty Catroux » The unique temperament of Saint Laurent inspired the Muse Saint Laurent Fashion Exhibition ». This exhibition is organized by the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris in cooperation with the Saint Laurent brand. It is the brand’s exhibition of the same name held in Paris in 2020 and is once again grandly presented in Shanghai. At the same time, this is also the first time Saint Laurent has visited China after 36 years after holding a retrospective exhibition of his works in Beijing in 1985.

In 1967, Yves Saint Laurent met Betty Catroux with blond hair and a slender figure in a nightclub. Two elegant and beautiful people hit it off at first sight. In the following decades, Betty became the incarnation of the soul of Saint Laurent’s fashion. No matter how ups and downs in life and career, they are the closest friends. Until 2008, a generation of legendary fashion master Yves Saint Laurent passed away.

Betty Catroux & Yves Saint Laurent (picture copyright belongs to its owner)

After each season of the Saint Laurent fashion show, Betty will select the works that best represent her personality for collection. In 2019, Betty generously donated part of her collection to the Pierre Berger-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, and each piece of fashion has now become a beautiful work of art. Anthony Vaccarello, the current art director of Saint Laurent, planned the exhibition from these precious collections. In addition to the fashion collection provided by Betty, a series of photos, letters, videos, etc. between the two will also be presented in the exhibition.

(Image copyright belongs to its owner)

Her vivid existence proves that the brand’s classics will last forever and remain vigorous forever.

Despite the passage of time, for Anthony, Betty, who has a unique temperament, is still the muse of contemporary inspiration for him and even the Saint Laurent brand. Anthony said, « Needless to say, Betty is the incarnation of Saint Laurent. It is a temptation, a mystery, with an almost’evil’ side, and an elusive but desirable trait, and all of these are The core of the brand halo. When you meet Betty, you will understand how important all this is.

Betty Catroux & Yves Saint Laurent in Central Park, New York, 1968; Photographer: Maurice Hogenboom (Image copyright belongs to its owner)


Anthony Vaccarello was born in Brussels and is of Italian descent. He studied at the famous La Cambre fashion school in Belgium, and soon integrated the precision art of Belgium and the charm of Italian fashion in the design. In 2006, his graduation design series was in The Hyères Festival in southern France won the first prize. Subsequently, he launched the brand of the same name. Rigorous tailoring is his strength, and it also allows him to bring strong but sensual fashion lines to popular culture. He began to focus on the appearance of urban women. These women are independent and fearless to pursue what they want. In 2016, he became the brand art director of Saint Laurent. He is good at shaping a modern, elegant, low-key and rebellious femininity, which has not only become a key element of the brand’s success, but also allows him to naturally connect with Betty Catroux.

Anthony knows and knows how to interpret her unique temperament. For him, Betty is still his contemporary inspirational muse.

They share a common view of fashion and advocating freedom, but in a world accustomed to obedience and prohibition, the latter is often seen as destructive. Saint Laurent doesn’t like to follow the rules, as are Anthony and Betty.

« Needless to say, Betty is the incarnation of Saint Laurent. It is a temptation, a mystery, with an almost « evil » side, and an elusive but desirable trait, and all of these are brand halo Where the core lies. When you meet Betty, you will understand how important all this is. Her vivid existence proves that the brand’s classics are always alive and vigorous. »-Anthony Vaccarello

« I like Anthony’s attitude very much, he moved me very much. He has a real elegance, a unique charm. I like him very much, I think he captures the atmosphere created by Saint Laurent very well, the mystery Breath. » —Betty Catroux

Anthony Vaccarello, Artistic Director of Betty Catroux & Saint Laurent; Photographer: David Sims (Image copyright belongs to its owner)

Saint Laurent and China

Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by traditional Chinese costumes and created a splendid haute couture series, among which the winter series of 1970 and 1977 have been named in the history of fashion. The fashion designer used his works to express his respect for Chinese culture, and in 1985 he held the first Yves Saint Laurent retrospective exhibition of classic works in Beijing. Through the exhibition, the brand hopes to get closer to this country that has a multi-faceted culture and integrates modern and traditional elements, because the Saint Laurent culture is the same.

 Saint Laurent culture was created by this contradictory fashion designer: he is shy, provocative, and a dreamer who is addicted to classics. Once the brand was launched in 1961, as the principal, he began to abandon those outdated laws in the fashion circle. He has always maintained his style, borrowing simple inspiration from the streets and daily life, and then turning them into magical haute couture. In 1966, his Rive Gauche Right Bank series brought great clothing pleasure to women. He likes women wearing trousers and carefully crafts the « male and female » model. For this reason, he also launched the « scandal » series, which later became the brand’s iconic style. The use of soft tailoring makes women feel more free when walking, and gives them a calm and proud posture. Yves Saint Laurent has created a series of classics: navy coats, trench coats, smoking suits, linings, tailored jackets, safari jackets…

Western art and culture have always been inspired by China, and China also occupies a special place in the history of Saint Laurent’s brand, and has had a profound impact on the brand’s style from the very beginning. And in 1985, a retrospective exhibition of the works of this French fashion house was held in Beijing. In 2017, the brand new Yves Saint Laurent Museum opened with the theme of « Asian Dreams », demonstrating the designer’s yearning for distant dreamy countries such as China, India and Japan.

As a passionate aesthetician, Yves Saint Laurent is always attracted by the colorful Chinese culture. Before he really set foot in the country he longed for, books and art had already brought infinite imagination to this big dreamer. Over the years, his fashion collections have more or less revealed the long-term influence of Chinese elements.

Betty Catroux, place de l’Odéon, Paris, 1980 (Image copyright belongs to its owner)