An opulent and immersive behind-the-scenes look at haute couture designer Yves Saint Laurent’s final show before his death, told through the eyes of longtime business partner Pierre Bergé, which was suppressed for the last two decades.
Filmed from 1998 to 2001, this portrait of fashion colossus Yves Saint Laurent's final show was screened only once in 2007 before it was blocked by YSL's business (and on-and-off romantic) partner Pierre Berge, who objected to the couturier's portrayal as frail and not quite all there, and to his own as something of a supercilious, control-freaky pill. (The dynamic between the two is said to have inspired Paul Thomas Anderson's treatment of Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville's characters in Phantom Thread.) But Berge relented in 2015 (and died in 2017), so Celebration is at last being widely released. Director Olivier Meyrou said the experience of filming the reticent designer was "very close to a wildlife documentary... Just like big cats must sooner or later come to a watering hole," Meyrou spent a great deal of time at his atelier patiently waiting for an appearance. So naturally the atelier's staff come off more vividly, always ready to rip out a lining or make infinitesimal adjustments to a garment according to le maitre's specifications. YSL lingered until 2008, but this exploration of his final collection is his true farewell, and the end of an era in French fashion.
Born in 1966 and a graduate of the producing department of the La Femis school, Olivier Meyrou is a french filmmaker whose documentary Beyond Hatred (2005) won the Teddy Award at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival. Though his other documentary Celebration (2018) began filming in 1998, it was blocked by Pierre Berge, the film subject's business partner, and Meyrou went on to direct "Bye Bye Apartheid" (2003), a TV documentary set in South Africa; his debut narrative feature Acrobat (2011); and Parade (2013), which documents the story of an injured trapeze artist.
Sponsored by Alliance Française de Seattle, French American School of Puget Sound, Pacific Place, The Stranger
- Original Language Title: Celebration
- Director: Olivier Meyrou
- Country: France
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 74 minutes
- Producer: Christophe Girard, Benedicte Couvreur
- Screenplay: Olivier Meyrou
- Cinematographers: Florian Bouchet, Jean-Marc Bouzou
- Editors: Cathie Dambel
- Music: Francois-Eudes Chanfrault
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Parade (Doc., 2013); Beyond Hatred (Doc., 2005)
- Language: French
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: KimStim
- International Sales: Playtime Group