Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris celebrates a Legendary Muse

The YSL museum honors Betty Catroux for her contributions to fashion.

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris honors the gender bending muse, Betty Catroux. Often described as Yves’ “female twin,” the Brazilian model is known for her androgynous style and platinum blonde hair—the look that inspired the iconic Le Smoking. The designer and the model shared a strong intimate relationship, spending years of professional and personal time together. From March 6 through November 10 2020, the French house dedicates a special exhibition to Catroux for her work as a model and muse, and significant contributions to the Fondation Pierre Bergé.

Artistic director of Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello is curating the exhibition from a selection of Catroux’s personal collection of approximately fifty designs, which includes Haute Couture, runway prototypes and ready to wear pieces. It will showcase the history of the “feminine-masculine” look that Catroux effortlessly embodied. The fashion icon, exuded confidence and challenged notions of femininity—conveying sex appeal in a sharp tailored suit, a concept that was new at the time. Betty Catroux is the archetype of a YSL woman.

The muse that inspired the French designer is being celebrated for radically changing the silhouettes of fashion in womenswear. “I’ve always been captivated by what’s masculine. Always wore jeans, a man’s jacket… I don’t feel like a girl or a boy, but more in a seductive position when dressed in boy’s clothes.” Betty Catroux for Antidote, 2014. Catroux sure has left a mark in the industry.

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