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The UK release of the much anticipated biopic

‘Yves Saint Laurent’

opens this Friday, 21 March 2014.

The movie is one of two films out this year,

which chronicles the life of this celebrated fashion designer:

the good, the bad and the ugly.

This first to be released –  ‘Yves Saint Laurent’  (UK opening 21 March)

has the blessing of Pierre Berge

(M. Saint Laurent’s partner in business and life),

who extensively collaborated with the movie’s production team.

The rival film ‘Saint Laurent’,  due out later this year,

and not endorsed by M. Berge,

 is backed by Kering the business concern, which

ironically owns the Saint Laurent brand .

The very beginning

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent

was born in Oran, French Algeria – 1936.

He was the eldest of three,

having two younger sisters and mother

who all would encourage his artistic sensibilities.

Although there was this familial support for

his budding design interests,

he was terribly bullied at school for being:

creative, bespectacled, studious,

slight and lacking athletic prowess.

It is reported that he once said,

“I didn’t have what it took to be a boy.”

He certainly had all of what it took to become a fashion great:

an inventive vision

an appreciation / an understanding of the female form

a talent for creating clothing of a seductive, modern quality

a defiance which challenged the norm /  the expected.

The beginning of an illustrious career 

He began his design career under the tutelage

of French couturier Christian Dior.

So impressed was M. Dior with the young designer

that he named Yves Saint Laurent as his successor.

A position which M. Saint Laurent fulfilled in 1957

at the young age of 21.

From that starting point he proceeded to make

an indelible mark on the canvass of fashion design.


The iconic piece

 Coco Chanel empowered women in wearing trousers,

and it was Yves Saint Laurent who

deftly adapted menswear lines to a woman’s body

in designing of minimalist,  androgynous,  trouser fashion

entrez … Le Smoking.

(image from pure trend.com):

Le Smoking by Yves Saint Laurent, 1966

His private life was however,  fraught with incredible challenges:

drug abuse/addiction, sexual promiscuity, mental health issues.

As with many exceptional creatives, he was somewhat

of a tortured soul – giving of his art, but not of himself …

“I’m so secluded.  Very alone.”

Yet from the depth of his inner contemplative space,

Yves Saint Laurent created fashion magic.

He remains one of the industry’s  greatest luminaries.

His designs changed the landscape of

women’s wearable clothing and couture fashion.

His, was a modern perspective:

forward-looking in design as well as in attitude.

He is recognised as the first major designer

to use Black as well as Asian models

for runway presentation and muse reference.

Alas, the under-representation of models of colour remains

an issue of discussion and debate within the fashion industry.

Clearly, M. Saint Laurent was light years ahead of the curve …

Hedi Slimane –  current creative director of the YSL label –

please take note.

Yves Saint Laurent   …  on working with Black models

It is of no surprise that M. Saint Laurent’s life story

is focus for two concurrent film ventures.

His fashion/design legacy is unparalleled.

Long may it continue to

 captivate,  inspire,  inform

(image from dirty-mag.com):

Yves Saint Laurent  …  final retrospective show

Centre Georges Pompidou 2002

Yves Saint Laurent   …  in tribute


designer Yves Saint Lauren, 1936 – 2008


‘Yves Saint Laurent’

starring Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent

UK release Friday, 21 March 2014