YSL: L’Amour Fou

May 14th, 2011

Pierre Thoretton’s Film Explores the Legendary Designer’s Greatest Passions

Capturing Yves Saint Laurent’s rapturously received spring ‘58 debut for Dior and a selection of the designer’s show-stopping bridal gowns throughout the decades, today’s exclusive clip is taken from new documentary L’Amour Fou. Translating to “Mad Love,” the film traces the 50-year romance between the fashion legend and industrialist Pierre Bergé. The pair met in 1957 at Christian Dior’s funeral, subsequently embarking on a personal and professional relationship that lasted Saint Laurent’s lifetime, despite their amicable romantic separation in 1976. Director Pierre Thoretton was introduced to Bergé through mutual friend Catherine Deneuve, and gained unprecedented access to rare intimate photographs of the designer by Helmut Newton and William Klein as well as footage of the couple’s fairytale houses in Paris, Marrakech, and the Chateau Gabriel in Normandy. L’Amour Fou’s point of entry is the three-day, 2009 Christies auction of the duo’s art collection following Saint Laurent’s death. The “sale of the century” comprised works by Manet, Picasso and Matisse, art deco furniture and Roman antiquities, amounting to a staggering $480 million (divided between the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and AIDS charities)—but as the movie suggests, it was, first and foremost, a poignant monument to Bergé and Saint Laurent’s shared life. “The collection is a reflection of the integration of their taste,” says Thoretton. “It was the growth of their vision of beauty and aesthetic in the world.” L’Amour Fou opens tomorrow in New York at the IFC Center and Paris Theatre, and in select cinemas nationwide on May 20.