Reel vs. Real returns this week with a 2014 biographical drama that fashion-forward cinemaphiles will surely enjoy watching.
If you’re among the fashion-forward cinemaphiles who were delighted to learn the story of the iconic Coco Chanel with the 2009 French film Coco Before Chanel, another French biopic released just early this year should be on your must-watch list.
Simply entitled Yves Saint Laurent, the biography drama directed by Jalil Lespert follows the life of the legendary fashion designer (Pierre Niney), from the beginning of his style-driven career in 1958, with his lover and business partner Pierre Berge (Guillaume Gallienne) at his side. As with Coco Before Chanel, viewers get to see the humble beginnings of Saint Laurent as an up and coming fashion house executive guided by his vision and uncompromising personality.
Filming for Yves Saint Laurent began in June 2013, with support from Pierre Berge himself, who reportedly sent out models on the runway to re-enact Saint Laurent’s famous Opéra Ballets Russes collection of 1976. The scene was also filmed at the Westin hotel (formerly called InterContinental), the fashion show’s original venue. Berge’s foundation also lent “77 vintage outfits from its archives and allowed Lespert to film certain scenes at its headquarters on Avenue Marceau in Paris.”
On this important role, 24-year-old Pierre Niney said, “I did five months of preparation on his life and character.” Aside from lessons in fashion design, sketching, and sewing, part of this preparation also included “obsessively” watching old television interviews of the iconic designer, who passed away in 2008. His efforts — and uncanny resemblance to Saint Laurent — all paid off, as Berge himself told Women’s Wear Daily :
“I am blown away by Pierre Niney’s performance. It really disconcerted me, it even upset me, because it’s very difficult. At times, I thought it was Yves Saint Laurent himself. That’s huge."
Yves Saint Laurent was the opening film for the Panorama Special section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
Watch the trailer for Yves Saint Laurent below:
A series made for cinephiles, Reel vs. Real highlights some notable biographical films that you may or may not have watched, and puts the biopic actors side by side with their real life counterparts.