×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Yves Saint Laurent 5, Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris

It's widely agreed that haute couture came to an official end last year when Yves Saint Laurent announced he was closing his custom dressmaking business after over 40 years. David Teboul's behind-the-scenes look is a companion piece to "Yves Saint Laurent -- Time Regained," but is less riveting as a free-standing experience.

With:
With: Yves Saint Laurent, Anne-Marie Munoz, Catherine Deneuve, Loulou de la Falaise, Pierre Berge, Laetitia Casta.

It’s widely agreed that haute couture came to an official end last year when Yves Saint Laurent announced he was closing his custom dressmaking business after over 40 years. Like a respectful doc about a specific and lovely patch of rain forest before it’s obliterated, David Teboul’s behind-the-scenes look at the arcane but admirable activities of a workshop dedicated to style, quality, tradition and innovation answers the question “Why do haute couture dresses cost so much, anyway?” Companion piece to Teboul’s “Yves Saint Laurent — Time Regained” nicely complements that excellent film but is less riveting as a free-standing experience.

Docu gets off to an amusing start as faithful client Catherine Deneuve, being fitted for a few new suits, is fussed over by half-a-dozen tailors and seamstresses while carrying on an animated discussion about the hens and a turkey that were attacked by a fox at her country house. The contrast between stratospheric luxury and down-to-earth laments is both touching and funny.

Popular on Variety

With its privileged vantage on a Saint Laurent summer collection from inception to runway, fly-on-the-wall docu follows the architectural “building” of each dress, much like making a movie. As his crew of seamstresses strives to translate his vision, the moody, quietly imperious Saint Laurent is the screenwriter-director to whom all defer to for the tiniest detail — half a centimeter here, an embroidery stitch there.

Much like being an outsider on a film set, the painstaking business is both fascinating and tedious. The analogy with movie-making holds right down to the garments that don’t “work” and end up on the cutting-room floor. There’s very little glamour in the process — the talented women who do the actual sewing are borderline frumpy. Only the final result, if successful, shimmers and flows.

Yves Saint Laurent 5, Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris

France

Production: A Movimento Prod., Canal Plus, Transatlantic Video (Paris) production, in association with WDR, with participation of CNC, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TV5. (International sales: Doc & Co., Paris.) Produced by Christian Baute. Executive producers, Dominique Andreani, Anna Glogowski, Pierre de Rohan-Chabot. Directed, written by David Teboul.

Crew: Camera (color, Betacam SP), Caroline Champetier; editor, Martine Giordano; sound (Dolby), Laurent Malan, Fabien Krzyzanowski, Olivier Do Hu. Reviewed at Viennale Film Festival, Vienna, Oct. 26, 2002. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Yves Saint Laurent, Anne-Marie Munoz, Catherine Deneuve, Loulou de la Falaise, Pierre Berge, Laetitia Casta.

More Film

  • Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and

    Film News Roundup: Leonardo DiCaprio Presenting Robert De Niro SAG Life Achievement Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Leonardo DiCaprio will present Robert De Niro with his SAG Life Achievement Award, the Oliver Sacks documentary finds a home and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television gets a new dean. AWARD PRESENTATION Leonardo DiCaprio has been selected to present Robert De Niro the SAG Life Achievement Award  at [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    From "1917" to "Jojo Rabbit," Composers of Some of the Year's Top Scores Talk Shop

    “1917,” Thomas Newman The 20-year collaboration of director Sam Mendes and composer Thomas Newman has encompassed midlife crisis (“American Beauty”), crime in the Depression (“Road to Perdition”), the Gulf War (“Jarhead”), marriage in the 1950s (“Revolutionary Road”) and two James Bond adventures (“Skyfall,” “Spectre”). Now they’ve tackled World War I, with “1917,” but Mendes’ much-talked-about [...]

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • ROAD TRIP – In Disney and

    Disney Boasts a Bevy of Hopefuls for Oscar's Original Song Race

    When the Academy announces its shortlist for song nominations on Dec. 16, you can be certain that at least one Disney song will be on it and probably more. Disney songs have been nominated 33 times in the past 30 years, winning 12 of the gold statuettes. This year, the studio has at least four [...]

  • Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    It’s next to impossible for a documentary score to be Oscar-nominated alongside the dozens of fictional narratives entered each year. But it did happen, just once: In 1975, composer Gerald Fried was nominated for his music for “Birds Do It, Bees Do It,” a documentary on the mating habits of animals. Fried, now 91, perhaps [...]

  • Ron Leibman, Jessica Walter'Mary Stuart' Play

    Ron Leibman, Tony-Winning Actor Known for 'Angels in America' and 'Friends,' Dies at 82

    Ron Leibman, an Emmy-winning actor who garnered a Tony for his work in Broadway’s “Angels in America” and played the father of Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green on “Friends,” died on Friday. He was 82. Robert Attermann, CEO of Abrams Artists Agency, confirmed the news to Variety. No further details were immediately available. Leibman, a native [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content