One thing that will seemingly never go out of fashion is the want of knowledge for the people behind the fashion, with everything from recent movies such as Coco Avant Chanel, documentary Scatter My Ashes At Bergdoff's, or even TV shows like America's Next Top Model; it's all very on-trend right now.
icking off in 1958, with a 21 year old Yves Saint Laurent (Pierre Niney) having being promoted to the head of design by the recently deceased Christian Dior, we get a look into the mind-set of a genius, as well as an all-too-revealing look at his personal life. In fact, it's difficult to think of another biographical film that paints its 'hero' in such a negative light. When he meets the love of his life, and eventual business partner, Pierre Berge (Guillame Gallienne), it's as he steals him from another man. We're told that he suffers from manic depression, but too often it comes across as him throwing his couture toys out of the pram because he's not getting his way.


n short, Yves is not a nice man to share any amount of time around, and therefore the same goes for the movie. No amount of lush cinematography and pitch-perfect period detail for fashion can overcome the fact that we're in the company of some truly horrid characters. Even the 'nice guy' Pierre ends up forcing himself upon Yves' best friend Victoire (the absolutely stunning Charlotte Le Bon) in a scene that's crying out for some kind of explanation by way of narration. There was room here to discuss the issues of polyamorous relationships, or the apparently liquid sexuality of everyone in the world of fashion, but the movie avoids those topics completely.
he performances are all quite good, and the aging make-up is exemplary, as we track Yves and Pierre all the way into old age, but what we don't get a feel for is just why Yves was considered a fashion genius. Aside from one scene where he invents the famous Mondarin Dress (you'll know it when you see it), but the rest of his output we've to take for granted as being important just because the movie says so.
efinitely a worthy subject matter, but Yves Saint Laurent fails to properly get under the skin of the man behind the seams.
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