Yves Saint Laurent’s Silver Screen Moment

by Dena Silver

France’s most in-demand import this season is not a dress. It’s not a suit, not a clutch or even a boot. In fact, this coveted piece of culture is quite cinematic. The fash pack was abuzz this week when Yves Saint Laurent Beauté and The Cinema Society hosted the premiere of The Weinstein Company’s Yves Saint Laurent. The film, which chronicles the late fashion prodigy’s illustrious career, brought out starlets and the industry players Monday night at MoMA. Attendees included Harvey Weinstein, Grace Coddington, SiaMartha Stewart, Gina Gershon, Karlie Kloss, Olivia Palermo, Lindsay Ellingson, Garrett Neff, and Genevieve Jones.

Need a recap on YSL? At the ripe age of 21, Yves Saint Laurent became the head of one of the most prestigious maisons, Dior. Throughout his outstanding career, YSL kept a commanding presence both on the runway and in the headlines. The film focuses on his life from the dawning of his career in 1958 when he met his partner in business and life, Pierre Bergé. Actor Pierre Niney, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late designer, takes on the title role. As a result of five months of preparation sketching, learning Saint Laurent’s design aesthetic, and listening to his voice at least three hours a day, that resemblance goes beyond just looks. As for Niney’s favorite part of the preparation process? “[Being] in Marrakech in his house. There was Yves’ stuff; Yves’ desk where he worked and created many of his beautiful dresses. That was pretty moving.” Director Jalil Lespert spent years researching the man behind the designs, and was allowed to dig deep into the archives of YSL’s work with help from Bergé himself. “He opened the doors of the archive for us,” he told The Daily, “and I was completely free to take what I wanted to take.”

Following the premiere was the after party at the latest New York haute spot, Beautique. The chic crowd feasted on duck croquettes and tuna tartar while indulging in Qui Tequila cocktails, aptly named Yves and Qui Couture. We also caught up with bombshell Marie de Villepin, who plays fashion icon and YSL muse, Betty Catroux. Throughout the film she wears many of the original pieces from the Saint Laurent archives, including her personal favorite, the iconic vintage Le Smoking tuxedo. “I’m completely naked under it,” she says. “I’m wearing a leather tie. It’s hardcore.” All in all, the glam evening was a fitting way to honor the timeless figure and his life’s work.

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