YVES SAINT LAURENT: THE MOVIE & PARIS APARTMENT



 



Away from the buzz of Paris Déco Off and Maison & Objet, the only evening off
A-Gent of Style managed to get was on Sunday when he, like one million or so French cinema-goers in the last fortnight, went to see the Yves Saint Laurent movie, the first of two French biopics to be released this year. And A-Gent though it was
un chef d’oeuvre. Do see it when it is released in your country or on DVD.







Loosely based on the Laurence Benaim’s biography and approved by Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent, directed by Jalil Lespert, recounts the passionate and turbulent life of one of the most famous French couturiers, whose work was heavily influenced by his personal life and traces the events of the precocious talent who took over from his mentor, Christian Dior, in 1957, when he was only 21 from the beginning of his career in 1958 when he met his lover and business partner, Pierre Bergé until the designer’s death in 2008 (the movie focuses mainly though on the 1950s, 60s and 70s). Their relationship somehow mirrors Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti’s who together also created an iconic fashion house, amassed an incredible art collection and sustained a personal relationship for over 50 years. You can see A-Gent of Style‘s feature of Giammetti’s latest New York apartment here.




Actor Pierre Niney, boundless talent of the Comédie française (the French equivalent of the RSC, more or less) doesn’t play Yves Saint Laurent so much as embody him.
His performance is riveting and impeccable. The movie is intimate, insightful and entertaining. Wait to see a young Karl Lagerfeld mingling with Saint Laurent’s muses, Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Cattroux (interestingly enough, Catherine Deneuve is not featured). And the physical similarities between the actors and the actual persons are sometimes uncanny (Now, A-Gent of Style is very much aware that his adoration for Hamish Bowles – see the last post – is worryingly turning into an obsession but don’t you think he looks very much like Monsieur Saint Laurent?! The lanky figure, the floppy hair, the black-rimmed spectacles and of course la mode??).


The other show-stopping factors of the film are the visually sumptuous interiors.
Be it Saint Laurent’s childhood mansion in Oran, Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s Paris apartment or their villa in Les Jardins de Majorelle in Marrakesh, the décors are ravishing and breathtaking. Whilst they are not faithfully accurate, they certainly capture the spirit of the museum-quality objets d’art the A-Gay couple surrounded themselves with over five decades.

AD France has just featured new photographs of the arts patrons and aesthetes’s nine-room duplex apartment at 55 rue de Babylone, on Paris’s Left Bank,
one of the superlative interiors of the 20th century. After Saint Laurent’s death,
his and Bergé’s interiors were auctioned and sold at Christie’s in 2009 for an astounding $484 million—the Eileen Gray ‘Dragon’ chair alone brought just over
$28 million. It is still referred today as ‘the sale of the century’.
You can judge by yourselves here:

In the Grand Salon, the two main paintings, 'Composition dans l'Usine' (1918) and 'Le Profil Noir' (1928) are by Fernand Leger.  Lacquered vases by Jean Dunand on eithe risde of the sofa. On the left, De Chirico's 'Le Revenant', on the right, Leger's 'Le Damier Jaune'. An 'Africaniste' stool in the foreground is by Pierre Legrain

In the Grand Salon, the two main paintings, ‘Composition dans l’Usine’ (1918) and ‘Le Profil Noir’ (1928) are by Fernand Leger. Lacquered vases by Jean Dunand on either side of the sofa. On the left, De Chirico’s ‘Le Revenant’, on the right, Leger’s ‘Le Damier Jaune’. Two pairs of armchairs by Jean-Michel Frank and an ‘Africaniste’ stool in the foreground is by Pierre Legrain

 

Two cabinets by Adam Weisweiler, on the left, De Chirico's La Bombe de l'Anarchiste (1914) and Vuillard's 'Marie reveuse et sa mere' (1892). On the right, Munch's 'Bord de Mer' (1898) and 'Les Coucous, tapis bleu et rose' (1911) by Matisse. On the iconic 'Fauteuil aux Dragons' by Eileen Gray

In the background, two cabinets by Adam Weisweiler, on the left, De Chirico’s La Bombe de l’Anarchiste (1914) and Vuillard’s ‘Marie reveuse et sa mere’ (1892). On the right, Munch’s ‘Bord de Mer’ (1898) and ‘Les Coucous, tapis bleu et rose’ (1911) by Matisse. In the foreground, on the left, (half of) the iconic ‘Fauteuil aux Dragons’ by Eileen Gray

 



Two senoufo sculptures from the Ivory Coast, a chair and a bird, in front of Sir Burne-Jones' 'Les Rivieres du Paradis' (1875).

Two senoufo sculptures from the Ivory Coast, a chair and a bird, in front of Sir Burne-Jones’ ‘Les Rivieres du Paradis’ (1875)

 

Column in terracotta by Ernest Boiceau, English chair (anonymous) and a drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Column in gilded terracotta by Ernest Boiceau, English chair (anonymous) and a drawing by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

15th C 'Cabbage Leaf' Flanders tapestry, Aloes lamp by Albert Cheuret circa 1920s, and silver-gilt and ivory objets d'art

15th C ‘Cabbage Leaf’ Flanders tapestry, Aloes lamp by Albert Cheuret circa 1920s, and silver-gilt and ivory objets d’art

 

Detail of 'Tenture des Nouvelles Indes'

Detail of ‘Tenture des Nouvelles Indes’

 

In the Salon de Musique, the mirrors adorned with branches are by Claude Lalanne and reflect gilted and bronze vases from the 17th C on a lacquered  sideboard by Eileen Gray

In the Salon de Musique, the mirrors adorned with branches are by Claude Lalanne and reflect gilted and bronze vases from the 17th C on a lacquered sideboard by Eileen Gray

 

Bronze tall vase by Jean Dunand

Bronze tall vase by Jean Dunand. Glossy, lacquered bitter chocolate walls

 

In the dining room, an Art Deco table surounded by 18th C gilted cahirs. German mirror from Louix XV and tapestry panels from Louis XIV

In the dining room, an Art Deco table surrounded by 18th C Italian Rococo gilted chairs. German mirror from Louix XV and tapestry panels from Louis XIV

 

Lacquered gold and red Bhudda in timber from the Ming dynasty, 16th C, the 'cabinet de curiosites' designed by Jacques Grange

Lacquered gold and red Bhudda in timber from the Ming dynasty, 16th C; ‘cabinet de curiosites’ designed by Jacques Grange

 

Gardens with a Roman marble 'Minotaur', 1st-2nd C BC

Gardens with a Roman marble ‘Minotaur’, 1st-2nd C BC

 


– Photos of interiors by AD France –

 

One comment


  • Thank you for sharing this! You continually write the most delicious posts – I can’t wait for the movie here in the states!

    February 5, 2014

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