Fashion, Film

L’amour Fou

as i mentioned in my post a week ago Mariah blogs over at Quite Continental, and i was thrilled when she sent me this post because one of my favourite things to delve into at her blog are stories of great loves – you also need to read her post about Winston Churchill & Clementine Hozier.

In February, my mind frequently turns to great love stories: stories of grand gestures, of passions that burned brightly and then out, of couples that stayed together for years, of couples that could not live without each other.  Coincidentally, I finally saw L’amour Fou this month, a documentary detailing the 50 year relationship of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, and the record-breaking auction of their massive collection of art and objet d’art that ultimately totaled €342m in sales.

A heart-breaking, quietly mournful story, you easily glean a sense of how hard a man Saint Laurent was to love and the fact that Bergé never stopped loving him.  At the time of Saint Laurent’s death, the two had actually been separated for some years, but married a few days prior to Saint Laurent’s passing, in a final symbolic gesture of their relationship: Bergé would be left to handle the tidying up the details of their long partnership and life together.

“I remember your first collection under your name and the tears at the end. Then the years passed. Oh, how they passed quickly. The divorce was inevitable but the love never stopped.

I don’t know how to say good-bye because I can never leave you. We will never watch a sunset together again. We will never share the emotions together before a painting again. Someday I will join you under the palm trees of Morocco. 

I want to tell you my admiration, my profound respect and my love.” 

Bergé at the funeral of Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent became an apprentice to Christian Dior at the age of 18, and became the head of the fashion house at the age of 21 when Dior suddenly died in 1958.  In 1960, Saint Laurent and Bergé founded the fashion house that bears the Saint Laurent’s name, which is where he would design his tuxedo or “Le Smoking” for women and many memorable collections.  But by 1976, Saint Laurent and Bergé had ended their romantic relationship.  Remarkably, they remained business partners and close friends.

One of their most special places can be found in Marrakesh, Morocco: the Jardin Majorelle.  A botanical garden that dates back to the colonial period when Morocco was a protectorate of France in the 1920s, it was designed by French expat Jacques Majorelle and was a favorite place of Bergé and Saint Laurent.  Open to the public since 1947, when the garden was in danger of being purchased and converted into a hotel in 1980, Bergé and Saint Laurent simply purchased it so that it could remain a public place.  Their foundation maintains it to this day.  After his death, Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered in their beloved garden.  Bergé will one day join him.

L’amour Fou is an exceptionally well-done documentary that examines one of the greatest names in modern fashion through the eyes of the man who loved him fiercely in life and now mourns him quietly in death.  It traces their relationship from the first painting they bought together to their first trip to Morocco to the last fall of the auctioneer’s gavel.  I cannot recommend it enough and I hope one day soon I will walk through their bright blue garden in Morocco.

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  • Reply Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! Tuesday 6 March, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Love the colours in the Morocco garden! This sounds like a great documentary- I must get hold of it.

  • Reply Natalie Tuesday 6 March, 2012 at 11:59 am

    The YSL Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech are amazing… You must go! I will definitely be watching L’amour Fou.


  • Reply patuxxa Tuesday 6 March, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I saw this documentary very recently also. I found it very moving in a simple and quiet way: the footage of Bergé speaking of their life, alone in the house, and then the auctioneer’s staff packing everytning to take away, was heartbreaking.

  • Reply Darcy Tuesday 6 March, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Have you read the Beautiful Fall? it tells the story of Berge and YSL’s relationship, which was very complicated and unpleasant at times. a very interesting book – it really captures the feel of Paris in the 1970s.

  • Reply Joy Tuesday 6 March, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I have just been dying to see this doc! it’s all the best things in one.

  • Reply Katie Tuesday 6 March, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    The photos you’ve posted for this are amazing! I clearly need to watch this immediately if not sooner – I didn’t even know about it. Thanks so much for sharing!


  • Reply Featured: QC on Miss Moss « Quite Continental Wednesday 7 March, 2012 at 12:21 am

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  • Reply Michelle {onmyownblog} Wednesday 7 March, 2012 at 8:03 am

    What a creative post idea. Really dig how these photos invite you in to their love story with a twist of travel. I’ve never been to Morocco but this post now does. Makes wish I had more candid/ docu-style shots of myself & my husband.

  • Reply Hannelore Wednesday 7 March, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I got back from Morocco a few weeks ago, and I did visit les jardins majorelles. It’s truly a wonderful place, you should definitely visit it! I’ll have to watch l’amour fou, sounds like an amazing movie.

  • Reply Mandy @ At Home Arkansas Thursday 8 March, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Excellent post! Love the colorful photos of the garden & that they purchased to keep it a public space, super awesome! Adding this to my list of docs to watch….immediately!

  • Reply caitlin of wanderlustings Friday 9 March, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    this looks so tragically beautiful. i really must see this now. thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Happy Weekend | The Whimsy Papers Friday 9 March, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    […] post from Miss Moss on “L’Amour Fou” the film about Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s […]

  • Reply erika Monday 26 March, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Oh Saint Laurent and Berge… epic love.

  • Reply L’amour Fou « Saturday 31 March, 2012 at 9:16 pm

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  • Reply Yves Saint Laurent is coming to Brussels « jessinbelgium Tuesday 9 October, 2012 at 3:09 pm

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