Yves Saint Laurent L’Amour Fou is an exceptional glimpse into the world of a fashion legend and everything and everyone that surrounded him. Featuring a prologue by Danielle Scutt, Test Presents recently hosted an intimate screening of the film.
Yves Saint Laurent possessed an effortless superiority, as both a designer and a person. Much like royals and certain secluded pop stars, people were – and still are – drawn to his world and his mind in a way, which provokes an almost insatiable need for more. It’s very easy to get lost in Saint Laurent’s universe. So when Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s partner in both business and life, sits down and talks about him for an hour and a half, you pretty much find yourself entranced by the screen, mouth wide open. Such is the effect of his documentary Yves Saint Laurent L’Amour Fou, which is released on DVD this week.
“I only saw him happy twice a year,” Bergé confides at one point in the documentary – “at the end of each collection.” The life of Saint Laurent – the couturier, who put women in trousers and dubbed his label ‘The House of Love’ – was one famously haunted by depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and the pressure to do bigger and better each season. When he passed away, Bergé decided to auction off most of their art and furniture collections to raise money for The Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent Foundation – an AIDS charity – and take part in a documentary about the sale. And while it may seem like a cynical move, Bergé reminds us that it’s not like any of those things have a soul. (In fact, he doesn’t believe in souls at all.)
Visually stunning and emotionally tough, YSL L’Amour Fou is a sort of guided tour by Bergé through the life and residences of Saint Laurent, beautifully directed by Pierre Thoretton, who met Bergé through Catherine Deneuve. It shows a form of beauty so overwhelming that the at times heart-wrenching words of Bergé meet a sense of balance much needed. The delightfully tranquil experience of listening to a legend talking intensely about beauty while footage from Saint Laurent’s houses in Marrakech, Normandy and Paris transport you to their mutual world is a chillingly perfect combination.
The next Test Presents screening takes place on Tuesday 13th December with guest co-host Roksanda Ilincic, who has chosen The Night Porter.
Text: Anders Christian Madsen