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Belle de Jour
Cinema event

Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint-Laurent - Fashion and Cinema

From 23/02/2013 at 18:00 to 24/02/2013

Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent's long lasting partnership started when they worked together for Luis Buñuel's film Belle de Jour in 1966, where he dressed her stylishly for misspent afternoons. The relationship lasted until the death of the designer in 2008 and included several films such as La Sirène du Mississipi (François Truffaut, 1969), La Chamade (Alain Cavalier, 1968), Liza (Marco Ferreri, 1972) and The Hunger (Tony Scott, 1983).

Catherine Deneuve's acting career spans more than fifty years and well over a hundred films, with an impeccable reputation for her understated acting and her choice of unconventional, auteurist filmmakers. While her acting career is key to her status as a star, it is her association with fashion, and especially haute couture, which makes her a specifically French fashion icon. As such, her image embodies what is considered the essence of femininity, exquisite sophistication and elegance, something that has been reinforced by her advertising campaigns for both Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Her special relationship with Saint Laurent and mutual admiration gave way to a particular muse-artist partnership that would go on for over thirty years and which is reflected in the on and off screen clothes he designed for her. This relationship confers her a special position within the fashion sphere.

Considered a genius and an artist rather than a mere designer, Yves Saint Laurent first wanted to create theatrical costumes after seeing in his native Oran a Molière play designed by Christian Bérard. The fact of being hired by Christian Dior after winning a fashion competition (together with Karl Lagerfeld) aged only 18 changed his future and paved the way to him becoming one of the most significant fashion revolutionaries. If Chanel liberated women, Saint Laurent gave them power by providing them with clothes inspired in the male wardrobe, characterised by comfort and confidence (tuxedos, reefer and safari jackets, trousers, sport and trench coats) acknowledging the active role of the modern woman in society and not as a mere object of admiration. Haute couture had offered until his arrival perfect, “frozen” looks. He gave them motion. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for which Chanel said he was her only worthy successor.

This event examines the careers of both actress and designer and the work that they created together on screen.

Fashion and Cinema is an initiative by Tristana Media in collaboration with the V&A and Ciné Lumière.


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