The conservation department conserves, studies, inventories, enriches, and promotes the collections. It handles the rotation of the works on display according to chosen themes and oversees the curation of each exhibition. It formulates the museum’s loans policy, initiates restoration campaigns, compiles documentation for each work, defines the policy for enriching the collection, verifies and itemizes the objects in the museum’s inventory, and elaborates the general policy concerning preventive conservation. 

A Unique Heritage

The collection of approximately 34,000 objects is composed of a wide range of items related to the life and work of Yves Saint Laurent and his haute couture house. These include textile works and accessories, drawings linked to the creative process behind the designs, early works dating back to Saint Laurent’s childhood, photographs by artists, a documents collection, and personal objects. The works are kept in climate-controlled storerooms. The conservation department’s measures for preventive conservation consist of overseeing the maintenance, restoration, and proper storage of the collections. These measures also involve preparing the works to be rotated or loaned to outside institutions by drafting condition reports, preparing the mannequins for displaying the garments (mannequinage), creating custom-made containers for transporting items, and installing the works in the exhibition space.  

While the early establishment and excellent condition of the textile and accessories collection are what set it apart, the graphic arts collection is most notable for its abundance and diversity. It is comprised of sketches Saint Laurent made for both his haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, music-hall reviews, the theater, and films.

Some Figures About the Collection

Haute Couture

  • Textiles 7,134
  • Accessories 8,458

Graphic Art

  • Fashion sketches 55,000
  • Ateliers’ specification sheets (or “Bibles) and collection boards 43,400 


  • Textiles and accessories 245 
  • Sketches 5,800

Photographs, press, audio-visual

  • Items 130,000 
  • Magazine copies 5,000 
  • Audio-visual archives 1,000 

Works of Art 11

See also