Yves Saint Laurent was a decadent genius, who was loved by the fashion industry and glorified by his legions of fans around the world. But noone knew or loved him more intimately than his partner of 40 years, Pierre Bergé.
Bergé's sentiments and emotions are exquisitely captured in L'AMour Fou, a stunning documentary that offers a glimpse into the life the two shared. It was a romance that started on the eve of Saint Laurent's first collection at Christian Dior, when he and Bergé were seated across from eachother at a dinner hosted by the editor of French Bazaar. The love affair blossomed from there, but was certainly not without it's ups and downs. Director Pierre Thoretton's beautiful film provides a rare perspective on Bergé and Saint Laurent's indulgent world.
Thoretton had originally approached Bergé while he was still in mourning, six months after Saint Laurent's death. The initial idea was to do a film on the couple's enviable homes in Paris, Normandy, and Marrakesh. "It was very beautiful, but it was completely boring," said Thoretton. The story evolved into a beautiful love story as illustrated through the tale of their incredible art collection amassed and disassembled as a result of that great love.
L'Amour Fou is both a romantic narrative and a heart wrenching tale of letting go. After Saint Laurent's passing, Bergé decided it was time to sell their possessions and so he orchestrated a record breaking auction of their personal effects. The film captures the process of cataloguing and packing their priceless collection, setting up the previews and running the 2009 auction as Bergé recounts the tale of his relationship with one fashion's most important figures. The couple's extravagance, elegance and passion is evident throughout the film; as is their taste level.
It's no wonder the auction, which was run by Christie's in Paris after being displayed in NY and London, brought in over $484 million. The 3-day sale of 733 pieces seemed to have both a cathartic and exhilarating process for Bergé, but one has to imagine that the man is quite lonely without his other half.
The film, which will celebrate its US premier tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival, hits theaters on May 13th. New York YSL-ophiles will be able to catch it at the IFC Center and Paris Theater.