Despite his death in 2008, Yves Saint Laurent remains one of the most iconic and revered names in fashion.
So we expect there to be long – and very well-dressed – queues forming outside movie theatres in Britain when the first of two rival biopics about the French designer opens in the UK later this month.
Produced in collaboration with Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s partner in both business and life, director Jalil Lespert’s portrait charts the sartorial revolutionist’s turbulent journey from the beginning of his career in 1957.
Following Saint Laurent’s rise to head designer at Dior, his traumatic experiences in the army and subsequent mental issues, as well as the challenge of setting up his own fashion house, the film also explores the intense relationship between the troubled couturier and Bergé.
Starring Pierre Niney in the leading role – who has been described as the perfect embodiment of Saint Laurent – the biopic has been a huge success in France where it opened in January.
Bertrand Bonello’s rival biopic Saint Laurent, which has been contested by Bergé but backed by François Pinault, owner of the Yves Saint Laurent brand, will hit cinemas later this year.
Thomas Bidegain, scriptwriter for the Bonnello film, told British newspaper The Telegraph, “Bergé’s role, even when Saint Laurent was alive, has been: ‘I tell the story.’ Saint Laurent had a very complicated life and Bergé always managed the legend. That’s why he couldn’t take being dispossessed of that story.”
Which of the two films will you go and see? We say both!
Yves Saint Laurent opens in UK cinemas on March 21.