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
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