Another New Year has passed, time is passing by quickly, and quite hard to grasp. I have so many things going on here in London and it was hard to reflect on these overwhelming experiences in a short period of time. That is why I rarely update this journal in the past year. Thoughts are accumulating and they need this same old portal now, I believe this year I’m gonna be back on track with myself and write more.
And okay, so now Valentine’s is coming. One might try not to care about this Corporate-constructed day yet the sunless sky of London and long distance communication still makes me being sentimental from time to time. I would admit I kind of miss writing a lot – especially the old act of writing letters and sending notecards to the ones you love. I guess there will always be something special and precious about making physical messages, crafting with your hands – it goes straight to the heart and not through screens. And you can keep it in your treasure box – well do we still have that now?
Although not made for Valentine’s Day, I want to share Yves Saint Laurent’s vintage Love cards as they are among my favourite creations by the fashion designer – apart from the clothes. During the course of 25 years from 1970 to 2005, He created these New Year cards (cartes de voeux) which is sent to friends and family to welcome New Year. He hand-crafted each design by himself – draw, cut and collage, with childlike and playful approach.
Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent and a collection of Love Cards
There is something timelessly charming in these bold and clear, colourful graphic cards. The recurring elements he draw on each design were often personal things and memories he cherish, for instance, Moujik his bulldog in the 1991 card, and The sun and palm tree of his native Algeria. They are almost naïve, warm and straight to the heart.
From each design, we can see the timeline of his evolving aesthetics – from His love of tropical Moroccan colours, detailed line drawing of sperms and sexuality, to the Cut-Outs painting by Henri Matisse. Only word written on them is Love, because that is all we need.
I guess the 1983 and the 1991 (the year I was born) are my favourites.
Which one is yours? I hope these cards might inspire your desire to create something by hands for people you love in this Valentine’s Day. There is also a book – a compilation of these card available here if you like.