Posts Tagged ‘ Yves Saint Laurent ’


Yves Saint Laurent
It is hard to envisage in a culture when the Yves Saint Laurent-YSL- brand is so recognisable and prevalent that the person who lies behind this legacy was a shy, retiring nervous young man who cowered away from the spotlight and looked as if at an early age his greatest achievement would be that of rising to the exalted position of Christian Dior’s protégé. However with the death of Dior he found himself at the centre of attention of the world’s media when he was appointed the great couturier’s successor in the House of Dior and caught up in the maelstrom of attendant publicity such a post engenders.
This biopic by Jalil Lespert goes someway to trying to decipher the man behind the myth but falls short of providing any grit whatsoever, despite the debauchery and decadence of his subject’s lifestyle, in favour of a glossy and suitably stylised version where an endless succession of beautiful people meet in beautiful surroundings swathed in beautiful clothes.
The film also focuses on the relationship between Yves (Pierre Niney) and his long time partner Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne) through its transition from passionate lovers and business partners to feuding international jetsetters with affairs on both sides threatening the rock solid ground at frequent intervals but never permanently damaging the concrete foundation. At the crux of the relationship lies the unshakeable and untenable belief that Bergé always has Yves’ best personal and business interests at heart. Thus he sees him through his early and subsequent breakdowns always dragging him from the abyss of the depression which seems to cloud his life, if not his talent.
We also see how personal highs and lows lead to creative peaks and iconic designs such as the Mondrian dresses, ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedoes and cigarette pants, Safari Jackets and his Bedouin Moroccan collection inspired by frequent trips to Marrakech with a collection of acolytes, sycophants and genuine friends, including long term muse Loulou de la Falaise.
The main downfall of the film is however also its greatest strength; that of the undeniably gorgeous surroundings and outfits. Each scene feels like a grand sumptuous opening scenario to something more rewarding but unfortunately this expectation always peters out and it becomes clear the scene vocalises more than the action and the dialogue combined. Therefore even moments like the wild parties with open sex, mounds of drugs and beautiful slinky bodies remain the stuff of buffed up pop videos with not so much as an overflowing ashtray or frayed hem to hint at any seriously real reckless abandon. It is all too oily and smooth to retain any credibility or appear believable.
Even his lifelong rivalry with Karl Lagerfeld is glossed over as being nothing more than the odd raised eyebrow or sideways disparaging glance. This being despite the fact Yves had an affair with Lagerfeld’s long term lover, Jacques de Bacher, which was also a serious threat to his relationship with Bergé.
In the end this film was a beautiful portrayal of an internationally recognised brand which will do nothing to harm either the legacy or its sales. There is another Saint Laurent biopic due to be released later this year by Bertrand Bonello which threatens to tell a more unauthorised version of his life- Lespert’s sanitised telling was sanctioned by Bergé- which may be a more interesting film although whether its portrayal will be more accurate we will probably never know.


Just an Observation

So spring seems to have sprung back into the winter as gusting winds, drenching rains and biting chills overtook any hopes of a smooth transition of the seasons. Hopefully this is a temporary blip and by this time next week we will be revelling in more suitable temperatures and weather conditions suited to this time of year. Mind you with this being Scotland there is little predictable about our weather other than unpredictability so best be prepared for all options.
Something which did put a bit of sunshine into this morning was the news that Kate Bush is doing a series of live shows from August 26th through to September 19th at London’s Eventim Apollo. Having only ever done one major tour before-these shows take place in one venue so it can hardly be termed a tour- 35 years ago in 1979 this is major news for her fans and admirers. Knowing Bush’s love for the theatrical it is bound to be something spectacular drawing on all aspects of her full and varied career and certainly it will go down as a highlight of 2014’s musical calendar. Tickets go on sale next week.
Elsewhere this week things seem to be going through a temporary lull with nothing particularly exciting happening this weekend. There is a vintage pop up fair at the Parlour in Duke Street tomorrow night-Saturday the 22nd- which I will probably head along to as it looks like being a worthwhile event with fashion, DJ sets and a good crowd.
Talking of fashion one of the great masters in this sphere, Yves Saint Laurent, is held up for measure in a biopic about his life and career in a new film out today. Definitely one of the guiding lights of twentieth century fashion-he is up there with Coco Chanel and Christian Dior- his mannish tuxedoes and cigarette pants will go down as his signature outfits but there are many others, such as the Mondrian dresses, which are just as iconic. His life should make an interesting story and if nothing else at least the clothes will be good. A review will be on these pages over the weekend.
As said before this weekend is relative quiet on the social front but this is merely the lull before the storm as next week sees things hotting up with several events on consecutive nights; sometimes even on the same nights.
Things kick off on the Thursday with a ‘Born to be Wide’ photo exhibition followed immediately after by a Neu Reekie event which sees the boys back from their New York adventures at Camera Obscura. Friday sees the opening night of the Hidden Door Festival in the Market Street Vaults Saturday sees a great gig at the Leith Franklin Cricket Club featuring The Bonnevilles and Geek maggot Bingo whilst Sunday sees a Rebel Inc. evening at Summerhall whilst the Amazing Snakeheads rock it up at Sneaky Pete’s. Phew! Barely pausing for breath there is also a sneaky week night out on the form of an Underground American cinema evening-Kinoclub- at the Hidden Door Vault. It might be an idea to stock up on sleep and finances before then and take advantage of this weekend’s lack of activity before next week’s surfeit.