Yves Saint Laurent - His Life and Times/5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris
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(Feb 20, 2007)
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Two full-length feature documentaries about the man who re-imagined women's fashion. His Life and Times is an intimate biography featuring extensive interviews with the reclusive designer. 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris is a behind-the-scenes look inside Saint Laurent's legendary atelier during the creation of his final Spring line in 2002.
Few would have guessed that Yves Saint Laurent idolized beatniks, and even secretly desired to become one. But already known for his impeccable taste and proper upbringing, the fashion designer was reticent to change too much from what brought him fame--haute couture. This latest DVD collection packages two documentaries, Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times and Yves Saint Laurent: 5 Avenue Marceau to give a thorough understanding of the soft-spoken designer who flourished for 40 years in the fashion industry, even when competing against fashionable upstarts such as Stella McCartney and Zac Posen. The first film concentrates on his early years while the latter focuses on the creation of his final Spring collection. While the less technically savvy film of the two (it's full of awkward editing, shaky footage, and background noise that sometimes interferes with the interviews), His Life and Times offers more content. Born in 1936, Saint Laurent had an eye for style from an early age (At age 3, he suggested his elderly great aunt change her frock, and she listened.) As a teenager, he won a fashion contest that inadvertently got him an interview with Christian Dior. By the age of 26, he opened his own house of couture. While his father never approved of his less-than-manly career choice, and never acknowledged his son's homosexuality, Saint Laurent remembers that his father's last words on his deathbed were, "Ou est Yves?" ("Where is Yves?"). Though he liked working directly with his staff, Saint Laurent had a distinct way of viewing his collections: Rather than looking directly at the models wearing his creations, he would look at their reflections in the mirror as they were walking toward it; for him, this was a more real way of seeing his clothes. Though both documentaries move at a slow pace--that matches Saint Laurent's shy and well-thought out manner of speech--they provide interesting insight on a fashion icon. --Jae-Ha KimSee all Editorial Reviews
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Top customer reviews
This documentary is divided into two parts: His first years growing up in Algiers, his move to Paris and his beginnings working for Dior, and then heading the House after Dior's passing when he was just 21. The second part takes place at his atelier, almost 50 years later, working on his collection. You get to see the man at work, bringing his sketches to life, a change here a change there, and the people that help him bring it to reality. You hear him talk, move, answer questions, talk about his life, his acomplishments. You get to see a man who, in spite of who he is, is humble and totally dedicated to his craft. It's about the design, the clothes, the women who wear them, not the fame or the money or the accolades. His friends are also interviewed (Betty Catroux for one), and his mother.
And talk about the reverence, the total respect the people that work for him have for this man. They are dedicated to him, to help him achieve his vision.
I love fashion and the power it has to change the way you feel about yourself and how you present yourself to the world. I bought this DVD to better understand the process of designing and the man himself, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. If you love fashion as much, you'll enjoy it too.
Although I watch Project Runway and against my better judgment, The Fashion Show, this video of the life and magic of Saint Laurent sparked my desire to once again drag out the dress form, cutting table, and 20 year old sewing machine, and create.
Inspiration is gained by watching on the masters seek perfection in design and detail.
I truly hope that you will enjoy the depth of that documentary as much as I did...
It is a fascinating behind the scenes look into the creative process in the Haute Couture.
Unfortunately, this is a dying tradition and YSL was one of the last great Couturiers.