Monday, 21 November 2011

L'AmOuR fOu

Last Sunday I took a trip to the ICA to see L'Amour Fou, the wonderful documentary pieced together by Pierre Bergé about the life and career of long time lover and business partner Yves Saint Laurent. Seeing the way Yves Saint Laurent worked and the sheer volume of pieces in each couture collection made me think there was no doubt he was born to design and had a very unique gift for it. He was so influential and innovative and I would go so far as to say he is one of the most skilled fashion designers we have ever seen. As well as leaving behind an illustrious fashion legacy thanks to an incredible body of work, the film also documented a beautiful love story between he and Bergé . I think Pierre Bergé has had some bad press for being the pushy business man behind the creative genius, it has been implied that he somehow svengali'd the vulnerable designer. However the film showed that Yves Saint Laurent was a man of very fragile mental state, who struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, and who's aesthetic perfectionism sent him down a spiral of acute depression. The film showed Bergé as a man who doted on Yves and stood by him, taking care of him and of day to day mundane tasks that Yves was incapable of carrying out.
My main obsession aside from his glorious dresses and le legendary smoking, and his two ride or die bitches Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Catroux, was their hideaway home at La Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech. Yves Saint Laurent spent more and more time here as he became increasingly reclusive, and his creativity was able to flourish in their cobalt castle. It pains me to say that while I have been to Marrakech many times I have never visited their house, although having stayed at the Shore Club in Miami I can see how much they based their outdoor decor on the Moroccan style of Majorelle.
The documetary told a largely sad story of a man who's talent and celebrity was at odds with his cripplingly shy personality, but my favourite part was an early clip of Saint Laurent in one of his happiest moments answering quick fire questions in an interview. Please see below..

Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé

The Majorelle Gardens - the couple's holiday home in Marrakech

YSL wears the 70s safari look in Marrakech
Jardin Majorelle

Yves Saint Laurent with BFFs and muses Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Catroux

Loulou, Yves, Betty

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