Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. – Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent, a name known around the world that invokes images of exquisite beauty and artistry. One of our all time favourite designers, and a pioneer within the history of modern fashion, Yves Saint Laurent influenced the way we see fashion today. Naturally, when it was announced that Pierre Thoretton would be directing a documentary on the life and times of the celebrated Yves Saint Laurent, we were intrigued.
L’amour Fou is the third instalment of the documentary series, and to be honest, we were apprehensive. We knew that though Yves Saint Laurent created a beautiful world of fashion, he suffered from many demons. And, we just weren’t sure if that was something we would want to see, or something that would change our opinion of him and his overwhelming success in the industry.
However, when the opportunity came up to see L’Amour Fou at the Paris Theatre in New York, we simply couldn’t say no. We didn’t regret it.
L’Amour Fou offers a beautifully melancholic view into the life and mind of Yves Saint Laurent, through the eyes and voice of his life partner of 50 years, Pierre Bergé. Throughout the documentary, Pierre recalls the love which Yves had for his material possessions, and the ensuing depression that would follow the fleeting joy these possessions brought. Unfortunately, despite the great beauty which Yves Saint Laurent was able create, he only felt truly happy twice a year, for the 24 hour period during which his collections were shown.
This moving documentary focuses on the sale of the treasures that the couple collected over half a century, during at 2009 Christie’s auction for almost $500 million. L’Amour Fou is a very truthful representation on the relationship this couple shared, with Pierre as the rock on which Yves held on to, and on which he was able to construct his empire.
The documentary incorporates vintage footage from when Yves was very young, shy and Pierre’s insight into the memories of the experiences the couple shares is both personal and intriguing. Without being overly edited, L’Amour Fou does not focus on the consumption issues Yves face, without totally ignoring the fact that this was a serious problem that the couple faced (and thankfully overcame).
L’Amour Fou is a haunting representation of the success of the fashion empire Yves Saint Laurent, and how fragile the man behind the brand was. His demons were never quite fully balanced by his love of beauty, and unfortunately, these ruled his life. Despite this, he was able share his genius with the world, and was deeply loved by his partner in life, Pierre.