L’amour fou, 2010.
Directed by Pierre Thoretton.
Starring Yves Saint-Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Betty Catroux, Loulou De La Falaise and Jack Lang.
A documentary on the life and work of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
Just like any creative industry, the world of fashion has it’s major innovators. Some saw a gap in the market and looked to represent it in the most glamorous way possible. Others pressed on to find the next edge for their line of new clothes. Yves Saint-Laurent was a French fashion designer whose work from the sixties to the eighties was highly regarded. Following his death in 2008, his lover, Pierre Bergé decided it was best to sell off Yves’s entire art collection to fun AIDS research.
The documentary behind this fashion icon, L’amour Fou, explores the man’s life from his early days in French Algeria to the height of his career. Pierre Bergé provides the main narrative for the entire documentary through talking head interviews. From this, we gain quite a remarkable view into how Yves was as a person. Shy, but with a sense of humour, Yves was quite a recluse man, but was a big lover of art. Throughout the film, we learn about the acquisition of some of the more expensive pieces, before they are boxed up and shipped out to an auction.
Whilst the focus of the documentary mainly focuses around what Pierre Bergé had to say about his late lover, the amount of personal and professional archive footage of Yves makes up for this. Despite him being a very quiet and reserved man, you grow to his almost geeky sweetness. And as for his sense of fashion design, the film gives a great insight into the development into his craft. Bizarre and leftfield thinking pretty much take up the dressmaking ideas.
L’amour Fou doesn’t reach out too far to the lay man of the fashion world, but it’s a rewarding experience to anyone with even the vaguest interested in clothing. Pierre Bergé has a very straight way of telling the story that doesn’t leave you tangled. A no nonsense documentary that stitches itself to the core subject.
Will Preston is a freelance writer from Portsmouth. He writes for various blogs (including his own website) and makes short films.