Film

FLARE Reviews the Yves Saint Laurent Biopic

Who better to review the Yves Saint Laurent biopic than FLARE's resident YSL fanatics?

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YSL obsessives Tiyana Grulovic and Caitlin Kenny went to see the first of the hotly-anticipated YSL biopics, Yves Saint Laurent. This version is the one sanctioned by Saint Laurent’s life-and-business partner Pierre Bergé, who gave his blessing along with several actual pieces from the YSL archive. Clearly, fashion expectations were high. So how did the results hold up?

Best Line
TG: “I am Yves Saint Laurent” —Yves Saint Laurent, asking Betty Catroux to model for him at a sleazy nightclub
CK: When seating guests for a runway show, Pierre Bergé instructs a helper, “Don’t seat Elizabeth Arden beside Helena Rubinstein—enemies!”

Best Fashion Moment
TG: The elaborate recreation of the 1976 Ballet Russes haute couture collection, which featured actual archival pieces from the house. PLUS a near perfect impression of post-breakdown YSL taking his bow after the show.
CK: I loved the nods to the Mondrian collection and Le Smoking, of course, but was actually a bit disappointed that most of the major fashion moments took a sideline to Yves and Pierre’s tumultuous relationship.

Best/Worst Facial Hair
TG: Best Jaques de Bascher—famed dandy, lover of both Saint Laurent and  frenemy Karl Lagerfeld, indulgent partier and overall bad influence. He sported the ideal villian-worthy mustache
Worst Jaques de Bascher—famed dandy, lover of both Saint Laurent and  frenemy Karl Lagerfeld, indulgent partier and overall bad influence. He sported the ideal villian-worthy mustache… for porn
CK: Totally with Tiyana on this one, though Saint Laurent’s sparse grizzly scruff during his hard-living years wasn’t pretty in HD either.

Best doppelganger
TG: In a film with near-perfect casting, Marie de Villepin nails it as the Amazonian Betty Catroux. Down to the bangs!
CK: Pierre Niney was quite convincing as Yves himself, especially as the 20-something Saint Laurent at the start of the movie.

Hottest YSL Muse
TG: Victoire! Played by the doll-like Canadian Charlotte Le Bon.
CK: I couldn’t take my eyes off Victoire either, but Loulou de la Falaise (Laura Smet) was babely in a badass way.

Our Verdict
CK: There’s plenty of prettiness to look at (the clothes! Victoire! Marrakesh!) and tugs of the heart strings, but Yves’ seminal fashion moments get overshadowed by Bergé’s burdens a little too much.
TG: Totally agree. At one point, I felt like the film was being waaaay too kind to the notoriously prickly Bergé. Then I remembered that it was based on his book, Letters to Yves. And I guess they had to get access to those archival clothes somehow, so mystery solved?