No film is as fashionable as a film about fashion.
When creating a Bildungsroman-esque film about an iconic French fashion designer, it is safe to assume that there will be a fair share of risk involved. But when you have said fashion designer's business partner's / long-term companion's approval, you may rest assured that you have a hit.
Yves Saint Laurent chronicles the designer's life and career, from when he first became head designer at Christian Dior at the youthful age of 21, how he created his own brand as a result of being fired, how he came to struggle with drug-abuse whilst partying with the likes of Andy Warhol, as well as the pressure and anxiety that came with being one of the world's most influential designers.
Oh yes, and most importantly, at the heart of the film is the tempestuous and, at times, heartbreaking love story between Yves (played by Pierre Niney) and Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne) that lasted until the designer's death in 2008.
In fact, it was Bergé's assistance that made this film as true-to-life as possible; he loaned 77 vintage YSL outfits to the production, many of which were iconic signature looks of the designer's. This is perhaps one of the best aspects of the film, as it works as a historical exhibition-like feature, providing a context and setting for his creations.
If you're obsessed with the fashion industry, you will also be delighted to catch several glimpses of the one-and-only Karl Lagerfeld (Nikolai Kinski) in his youth, and Yves's early model/muse Victoire Doutreleau (Charlotte Le Bon), as well as his later muse Loulou de la Falaise (Laura Smet).
It will be interesting to see how Saint Laurent, another French biopic that will be released later this year, will fair compared to this gem. It will star Gaspard Ulliel (young Hannibal Lecter from Hannibal Rising (2007), hmm...) as Yves, Jérémie Renier as Bergé, and It-Girl of the moment Léa Seydoux as Loulou.
It may be rather scandalous, seeing as real-life Bergé did not support that project.