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Review: Yves Saint Laurent: L’Amour Fou (2010)

Directed by: Pierre Thoretton | 100 minutes |

Fashion king Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008. From the very beginning of his career, Saint Laurent was assisted by Pierre Bergé, his partner in both love and business. Shortly after death, Bergé decided to sell their entire private collection of artworks. This sale took place in February 2009 and is considered the auction of the century. The proceeds: more than € 374 million. Bergé has donated most of the money to AIDS research. In the documentary “Yves Saint Laurent: L’Amour Fou”, Bergé is followed during the preparations for the auction of the art collection by Christie’s in Paris.

Director interviews Pierre Bergé in the run-up to the auction in the various houses where he lived with Yves Saint Laurent. Bergé tells about their life together on the basis of archive images, photos and works of art from the collection. There is a lot of attention for Saint Laurent’s career. When Christian Dior dies in 1957, Saint Laurent takes over the management of the Dior fashion house at the age of 21. It is up to him to put the emergency leading fashion house back on the map. His designs are so innovative that everyone knows his name in no time. In 1960 he is drafted into military service. There he becomes depressed and as a result of a nervous breakdown he is fired from Dior. He then decided to start his own fashion house together with his partner Bergé, which became known by the initials YSL. His designs were trend-setting and very successful from the start. With the success came the fame and the money with which the art collection was purchased. But the success also had a downside, the designer was addicted to alcohol and drugs and was ravaged by depression.

The shows a moving picture of the life of the famous designer. The viewer gets to know the man behind the designs. Director initially planned to make a about the influence of the art collection on the fashion of Saint Laurent, but it is mainly the relationship between the two men that is central. The last ten years of his life are mentioned only briefly. It is mainly the years between 1960 and 1980 that are discussed in detail. The fashion of Yves Saint Laurent plays a relatively underexposed role, which may be a shame for the fashion lovers among us. The provides a satisfying, bittersweet portrait of the French fashion designer, but above all succeeds in portraying the loving devotion of his partner Bergé.

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