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?
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.
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.
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?