Yves Saint Laurent, July 1960 .
It looks like 2014 is going to be Yves Saint Laurent‘s turn to be immortalized on the big screen. There will be two films coming out about the life of this iconic French designer who died in 2008, despite one facing criticism from the late designer’s close companion and business partner, Pierre Bergé. The businessman – who was co-founder of the iconic house – has said that he wants to try to “ban” production of the second movie.
Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Bergé .
However, the second film has been backed by head of Kering (formerly known as PPR) – the conglomerate that owns Saint Laurent – Francois-Henri Pinault, who has given consent for the fashion house’s logo and designs to be used. Bergé took to Twitter to share his frustration, saying: “Two films on YSL? I hold the moral rights in the work of YSL’s image and mine have authorised that of Jalil Lespert” – in reference to his favoured film’s director. He then hinted that a trial may be in the near future. Bergé is the head of the Pierre Bergé-Saint Laurent Foundation – created to “prolong the history of the House of Saint Laurent”, while conserving a collection of 20,000 haute couture designs, accessories and sketches “that bear witness to 40 years of Yves Saint Laurent’s creativity”.
Both rival biopics currently have the working title of Yves Saint Laurent.
The first film
Movie poster .
The first film- which has the backing of Bergé – is to be directed by Jalil Lespert and will star French actor Pierre Niney as the late designer. Bergé has previously commented on the strong resemblance Niney has to his former companion, revealing that he almost greeted him: “Welcome Yves”.
Pictures of this movie
Yves Saint Laurent opens January 8th.
It looks every dramatic, a bit over the top and every bit as glamorous as you’d expect.
Director Jalil Lespert, starts the film in 1957 as 21 year-old Saint Laurent (played by Pierre Niney, Nikolai Kinski as Karl Lagerfeld and Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Berge. ) takes over the couture house of Dior. He is bombarded with questions from reporters but appears calm and collected. Alas, this does not last. Young Saint Laurent tears a white table-cloth dramatically, to make a sash with a bow for a glamorous client. He is temperamental: “I don’t fear critics” he proclaims. He is a diva who just wants to be alone: “Let me sketch in peace!” he yells.
You already have to know a lot about Yves Saint Laurent and his friends to understand the story, otherwise you have no clue who is who and what all happens. Like the reason YSL and Karl Lagerfeld broke up as friends: YSL started a love-affair with Lagerfeld’s lover Jacques de Bascher. The movie also says a lot about Pierre Berge, who lived in the shadow of YSL and obviously had a hard time living & working with him.
The movie reveals details about YSL’s life, only Pierre Berge knew about and probably felt the need to share with the world. I don’t know what these revelations add to the legacy of YSL. It feels like Berge is still frustrated about certain events and the fact YSL couldn’t function without him and is now seeking recognition for his part in the history of YSL.
Still a nice movie to go to and see……
The second film
The second film- supported by Pinault – will be directed by Bertrand Bonello, with Chanel model Gaspard Ulliel cast as the leading role opposite actress Lea Seydoux. According to The Telegraph, Bonello’s team wrote to Bergé explaining that they had not sought his blessing because they wanted true “freedom of expression”. It’s believed that the businessman’s lawyers responded immediately denying any use of his image or Saint Laurent possessions.
Movie poster of Saint Laurent film which Pierre Bergé is trying to "ban" . Gaspar Ulliel who plays Yves Saint Laurent in the second film .
“Bergé’s role, even when Saint Laurent was alive, has been: ‘I tell the story,'” said scriptwriter Thomas Bidegain, who is working on the Bonello film. “Saint Laurent had a very complicated life and Bergé always managed the legend. That’s why he couldn’t take being dispossessed of that story.”
The French release of this movie is set for September 2014.
Both productions are expected to focus on the early life of the designer and his relationship with Bergé.
Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Bergé .
The Iconic nude photograph
In 1971, the same year that his radical ” 1940s” collection shocked animal activists and fashion critics, Yves Saint Laurent released his first perfume for men, Pour Homme. For its advertisements, Yves Saint Laurent posed in nude in front of the camera of a close friend, Jean Loup Sieff. Sieff who worked for Magnum and was at the apex of his fashion photography career when he took fourteen photos for Yves Saint Laurent. The photo brashly challenged conventional taboos of male nudity in mainstream advertising of the era.
YSL and Sieff rejected the conventional machismo virility that was usually used in the ads on that time, such as Old Spice (introduced in 1937) and Aramis (introduced in 1964). It was a ‘natural’ appearance after the excesses of 1960s youthquake ostentation and fantasy. Although YSL personally wished the photo become an icon of gay liberation, he looked almost a Christ-like figure, a wavy-haired and gaunt and stark naked but for his large-rimmed glasses. The photos desexualized nudity, and presented a more vulnerable, and androgynous side of humanity.