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Film Review: A Fashionable Man is Captured in ‘Yves Saint Laurent’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Fashion is art, and the canvas is provided by the wearer of that fashion. The designer biography depicted in “Yves Saint Laurent” is one of tortured genius, as Saint Laurent influenced and commodified the world of clothing and accessory creation for over 50 years.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The focus of this French film biography is in the portrayal of Pierre Niney as Saint Laurent, following him from 20-year-old assistant to Christian Dior in 1950s Paris, to international private label superstar through the 1970s. Along the way the truths of his intense work ethic and ability to figure out the next trend is tied into his psychological problems and relationships, especially with his lover and business partner, Pierre Bergé. For lovers of fashion and design history, this is a must see. For the rest of us, it provides a glimpse into a business and art form that eventually filters down into the clothing that everyone wears during the day.

The design wunderkind Yves Saint Laurent (Niney) joins the Paris fashion house of Christian Dior in the late 1950s at the impossibly young age of 20. After proving himself to the master, he is asked to take over the clothing and accessory line after Dior unexpectedly dies. At the same time, he worries about his parents stuck in Algiers during wartime, being drafted for the same war and his own tenuous psyche. He is checked into a sanitarium.

He is rescued from there by his friend Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne), who convinces his to start his own fashion line. After securing outside money, the legend begins, and Saint Laurent’s creations affect trends that lasts for the next 40 years. In the meantime, Bergé and Saint Laurent become lovers, but their relationship goes through the trials of wealth, artistic pressure and fame.

“Yves Saint Laurent” is currently in limited release in Chicago and elsewhere. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Pierre Niney, Guillaume Galienne, Charlotte Le Bon and Nicolai Kinski. Screenplay adapted by Jalil Lespert, Laurence Benaim and Jérémie Guez. Directed by Jalil Gaspert. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Yves Saint Laurent”

Pierre Niney, Charlotte Le Bon
The Title Character (Pierre Niney) and Model Victoire (Charlotte Le Bon) in ‘Yves Saint Laurent’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Yves Saint Laurent”

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