September 2, 2011 in Features

Mystery revealed, after a fashion

Roger Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune
 

Fashion star Yves Saint-Laurent lacked the wild theatricality of Karl Lagerfeld, the shrewd, self-promoting chutzpah of Ralph Lauren and the trendsetting exhibitionism of Marc Jacobs.

Bashful to the core, the late couturier remains a man of mystery even in Pierre Thoretton’s documentary “L’amour Fou.”

Pierre Berge, Saint-Laurent’s longtime lover and business partner, reminisces about their relationship, discussing much but revealing little.

As auction house movers crate up the couple’s magnificent art collection, we get Berge’s memories of his partner, from their bold launch of an independent design firm, through YSL’s impressively diverse collections, and on to the dark days of his decline.

Saint-Laurent comes off as a warm if high-strung artist, given to bursts of dynamo productivity and bouts of depression, eventually turning to drugs, alcohol and promiscuity to make himself feel better.

A few less-protective commentators and a dash of good Euro-scandal would add interest. Still, for fashion lovers, the film’s mini-retrospective of Saint-Laurent’s work should be a thrill.

“L’amour Fou” is playing at the Magic Lantern.


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