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L’Amour fou pour Yves

September 17, 2013
Yves Saint-Laurent and his 50-year plus partner

Pierre Bergé tells the story of Yves Saint-Laurent, his 50-year plus partner’s life as a fashion genius, his passion for life and women, and the incredible art that dots their story

Okay okay so I am behind the times. I’d been wanting to watch this film for some while and voilà, there it was on the Nexflix feed and on my screen yesterday evening.

This is the kind of beautiful experience that I love to tap since it informs so much of my own passion for fashion: Paris, people scenes and city cafés, over a window of decades, fashion by Yves, and the incredible art collecting and extravagant homes he shared with Pierre. Marrakech. The south of France: “It’s called a château but it’s not a real château.” There are fascinating lengths of tape, video footage of friendships and parties with Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Loulou de la Falaise.. Odd and somewhat average, everyday moments.

Yves was 21 when he took over designing for the house of Christian Dior after the designer’s death. He’d been there working for the designer for only a couple of years- max. Yves succeeded the designer at a time when the label was peaking. He was incredibly successful but had his own fashion agenda. His ideas came through, and soon after with his own label. It didn’t work out at Dior.

He was probably a workaholic and a perfectionist to an obsessive fault. For one collection he created something like 168 dresses. Seriously! Can you imagine? Most designers today will show between 30-50 looks, max. And don’t forget that he wasn’t a big production machine like Ralph Lauren. Yves was a couture king.

This is a film that won’t answer all your questions as you watch it- Yves’ depression, Pierre’s massive auction of all their life (and loves’) treasures together over the years- an incredible auctioneer’s dream at triple-digit million Euros: a carved-out and colour-tiled vase picked up on the side of the road by Yves, their first Mondrian, which they never ever dreamed they could possess after Yves’ Mondrian-inspired collection. Rembrandt. And then the list of major French painters. Yves was very successful, and Pierre was part of the success, the business.

Hearing this story from Pierre’s perspective is somewhat arresting. He is so poised, yet so vulnerable. He feels so much love for Yves, and he’s so sad and still wishing he could fix his pain. His character is elusive yet he’s got us on every word. And so it is.

Yves Saint Laurent with a model

A younger Yves Saint Laurent with a model

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