Fashion once was the stepchild of categories considered for museum exhibitions, but such blockbusters as the 2011 Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are making that notion as outdated as last year's bubble hemlines.
Still, few clothing designers are artists worthy of major gallery space and able to draw more than a half-million visitors, as McQueen's exhibit did. So what elevates a designer's work to the point where it deserves the treatment the Denver Art Museum is lavishing on "Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective"?
"Saint Laurent worked like an artist," said Christoph Heinrich, museum director. "H e was very curious about other cultures, about art, about going back in time; everything that defines the global world." The show, which opens March 25, covers four decades of the late French couturier's life and includes 200 haute couture outfits, films and photos, presented in three galleries in the museum's Hamilton wing.
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