Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, capsule illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

I feel like myself and Bernard Chandran are good pals. He’d probably see it differently, but the first show I ever saw during a fashion week was his, and since then I haven’t missed a single one. I almost did this time – cruelly his show clashed with one of my other favourites, Jean Pierre Braganza. I was worried sick – who would I choose? In the end, the Amelia’s Magazine team had got JPB more than covered and I decided that I couldn’t miss Bernard after all.


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Cruz

It’s a bloody good job I was so desperate to see it, because his show was at the Il Bottaccio venue on Grosvenor Place. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s basically a 20 minute cycle by Boris from Somerset House, fashion week’s epicentre. It might not sound much, but when you’ve got less than twenty minutes to get there, it’s boiling hot on the Strand and rammed with buses churning emissions in your face and you’re prone to perspiration, it’s less than entirely ideal.






All photography by Matt Bramford

I arrived at the venue in a complete state. Perspiring, thirsty, hungry and miserable, I just wanted to get inside and get it over with. Luckily entrance was a breeze, and I found a good seat on which to waft my invite frantically and avoid glares from immaculate fashionos free of any perspiration. I sat next to Lida from The First To Know – I’ve spoken to her electronically a few times, and it was great to finally meet her. We chatted about a recent article of hers for the Ecologist where she speaks to Chandran about the lack of available craftsmanship in our country, and it’s definitely worth a read.


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Bernard’s invite featured a duplicated picture of a glamorous woman from the 1950s. I had already guessed (naturally, as myself and Bernard are so friendly) that it was his mother. She had the same delicate bone structure and exotic appeal. It turns out that these two subjects – the 1950s and the matriarch of the Chandran dynasty – where Bernard’s inspiration this season.





The show featured many of Bernard’s now signature styles, but this time he’d cranked up the glamour factor and it really suited his unique dedication to sculpture and proportion.


Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Cruz

Look after look brought glamour, sophistication, elegant craftsmanship and a unique approach to dynamic cutting. Floor-length silk numbers, beautifully simple, sat happily with futuristic blazers with angular oversized lapels and a-line dresses with feather panels. The colour palette was a varied as it could be – pale pinks and blues, gold, silver, and vivid cobalt and fuchsia. Chandran’s evident bravery in his use of colour was a dominant feature once again.

It was quite a mix, and that’s what I quite like about Chandran; you can’t label his collections with this season’s buzz words and you could try to squeeze him into a box but he’ll burst out of it, wearing feathers and glittered fabrics and assymetric cuts (metapohrically speaking, of course).





The finale brought a stunning black model onto the catwalk wearing a red-carpet finest – a dazzling body-con number with a sweetheart neckline and a fishtail train. Delicate petal shapes in a complimentary colour had been applied all over the frock, teamed with high-gloss evening gloves. The model glided past us oozing sex appeal with a look of confidence that only this sort of piece can give.





Bernard, you didn’t let me down. Until next time, pal…

Categories ,1950s, ,Bernard Chandran, ,Boris Bikes, ,catwalk, ,Cruz, ,Feathers, ,First To Know, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Glamour, ,Glitter, ,Grosvenor Place, ,Il Bottaccio, ,Lida Hujic, ,London Fashion Week, ,Off Schedule, ,Pop PR, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sweat, ,the ecologist, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland Off Out Of Schedule S/S 2012 in Łódź: Paulina Plizga

Paulina Plizga S/S 2012 by Cruz
Paulina Plizga S/S 2012 by Cruz.

For her S/S 2012 collection Paulina Plizga was inspired by dance, so leading the Flesh & Bone collection down the catwalk was contemporary dancer Kaya Kolodziejczyk, who threw a series of crazy shapes in front of the unsuspecting crowd. The next models walked at a stately pace, some fast, some two by two or in hand – the back lighting emphasised their tousled hair and their blackened eye sockets gave the classical ballet aesthetic a dark, distressed edge. Paulina Plizga showed us a predominantly white collection with intermissions of grey, ochre and black in a range of textures, from holey knits and ancient lace to patchworked fabrics and reappropriated sheers.

Paulina Plizga SS 2012 by Geiko Louve
Paulina Plizga S/S 2012 by Geiko Louve.

When I spoke with Paulina Plizga after the show she described how all of her outfits are constructed from scraps which she forages from the couture houses in Paris (where she lives) and these are mixed with antique laces that she finds in markets. For relaxation she likes nothing better than to go to the cinema, and so recent viewings of Black Swan, The Red Shoes and Pina Bausch films helped form ideas for S/S 2012, along with the Greek story of Pygmalion, wherein a statue comes to life. This was a welcome second chance for me to view Paulina Plizga’s clever design aesthetics; read my review of Paulina Plizga‘s previous A/W 2011 collection here.

Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Paulina Plizga S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,ballet, ,Black Swan, ,couture, ,Cruz, ,dance, ,Eco fashion, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Flesh & Bone, ,Geiko Louve, ,Kaya Kolodziejczyk, ,knitwear, ,Lodz, ,Off Out Of Schedule, ,paris, ,Patchwork, ,Paulina Plizga, ,Pina Bausch, ,Pygmalion, ,recycled, ,Red Shoes, ,Sheer, ,The Red Shoes, ,Upcycled

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Amelia’s Magazine | Carlotta Actis Barone: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Carlotta by Isabelle Mattern
Carlotta Actis Barone A/W 2013 by Isabelle Mattern

Carlotta Actis Barone took a surprising new direction for her A/W 2013 show at London Fashion Week: last season she sent ballet dancers in giant brightly coloured wigs down the catwalk, but this time she stuck to the basic format and colour was replaced with this season’s biggest trend: simple monochrome. Instead of ruffles and elaborate boning there were chic figure hugging pieces with cut out details. Pieces were chic and elegant, structured and loose fitting, but in true Carlotta Actis Barone style her designs celebrated the female form; curves were enhanced by structured shoulders and sinuous tailoring at the bust and hip.

Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone by Chloe Douglass
Carlotta Actis Barone A/W 2013 by Chloe Douglass

Models were elegant with 1930’s inspired chignons and a sassy stride. Gossamer light chiffon hung in pleats to reveal perfect pins, or in daggered panels to reveal a subtle flash of chest. Constructed dresses featured black and white geometric tailoring in reference to Cubism and Dadaism. Contrasting textures were used to represent the complexity of the female mind, and this beautiful collection certainly complimented the fairer sex.

Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta by Angela Lamb
Carlotta Actis Barone A/W 2013 by Angela Lamb

Carlotta Actis Barone’s hallmark bodysuit included the work of artist Manuela Corti and was adorned with the slogans ‘Fashion Forgery’ and ‘Fashion Clockwork’. This appears to be a statement about the copycat culture which is rife in the industry, but luckily this is not an issue that Carlotta faces, since her collections are surprisingly different each season and certainly do not lack originality.

Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone by Pia Bramley
Carlotta Actis Barone A/W 2013 by Pia Bramley

Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta AW13 by Isher Dhiman
Carlotta Actis Barone A/W 2013 by Isher Dhiman

Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Angela Lamb, ,Carlotta Actis Barone, ,Chiffon, ,Chloe Douglass, ,Cubism, ,Dadaism, ,Fashion Clockwork, ,Fashion Forgery, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,geometric, ,Isabelle Mattern, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Manuela Corti, ,Pia Bramley, ,tailoring

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Capital Profile Fashion Event 2011 Review

Kelly Love by Cruz Illustration
Kelly Love by Cruz.

Online fashion portal Fashion Capital has been showcasing their very own catwalk show since 2001. Now in their 10th season, the online trend forecasters have successfully established themselves as the link between Graduate Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. Held at the extravagant Grand Soane Hall at One Marylebone, the press release promised the best of emerging talent from London and beyond, not to mention a little nugget of comedy in the form of Lauren Goodger’s debut collection; the 25-year-old reality TV star mildly famous for her part in The Only Way Is Essex.
 
Kelly Love
Kelly Love
Kelly Love. All photography by Sarah Deane.
 
Holding their own throughout the show was a number of up-and-coming designers, offering wearable, high street tailored designs for S/S 2012. If I’m honest, some of the looks on show wouldn’t have looked too out of place in a Jane Norman-esque store, but the static trade show was successful in delivering a promising variety of new names from here in the UK and around the world.

Jezabel Jones
Jezabel Jones
Jezabel Jones by Estelle Morris
Jezabel Jones by Estelle Morris.
 
ANAR
ANAR
ANAR by Estelle Morris
ANAR by Estelle Morris.

Catching my sceptical eye at the show was London-based Jezabel Jones who showcased minimalist shapes in a straight forward colour palette of black and grey complete with sheer detailing and striking gold chokers. Eurasian-born designer ANAR also delivered a selection of wearable looks with a retro-modernist collection that featured ’20s style skull caps alongside modern body-con dresses and luxe fabrics.
 
Tobi Hannah
Tobi Hannah
Tobi Hannah by Rachel James
Tobi Hannah by Rachel James.

Rachel Antonio
Rachel Antonio by Cruz
Rachel Antonio by Cruz.

Other highlights included sweetly designed summertime shorts and maxi dresses by Australian-based designer Kelly Love. Undoubtedly a little too sickly-sweet for some, the collection featured soft wearing fabrics complete with delicate rose prints in blush and fuchsia pink. Wedding dress designer Tobi Hannah offered an electric range to satisfy all tastes, from elaborate ruffle hem minis to exotic printed dresses in sheer fabrics, whilst Rachel Antonio offered elegant evening wear – notable her extravagant multi-layered maxi dress in red.

Vjera Vilicnik
Vjera Vilicnik
Vjera Vilicnik by Rachel James
Vjera Vilicnik by Rachel James.

Putting on probably the most covetable show of the evening was British designer Vjera Vilicnik, presenting masterfully hand-crafted dresses in white and black complete with ’40s-inspired shapes and opulent bursts of sapphire green.
 
Christina Dami
Christina Dami.

Christopher Waler
Christopher Waler.
 
For those of you interested in what the show’s supposed selling point had to offer, here’s a small snippet of Lauren Goodger‘s debut collection Lauren’s Way. Burning my eyes with flamenco pink dresses and tiered peplum detailing, I’ll spare you from too much trauma with just a couple of images from the pink-infused collection…
 
Lauren's Way
Lauren's Way

Categories ,ANAR, ,Christina Dami, ,Christopher Waler, ,Cruz, ,Estelle Morris, ,fashion, ,Fashion Capital, ,graduate, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Grand Soane Hall, ,Jezabel Jones, ,Kelly Love, ,Lauren Goodger, ,Lauren’s Way, ,London Fashion Week, ,One Marylebone, ,Profile, ,Rachel Antonio, ,Rachel James, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,The Only Way is Essex, ,Tobi Hannah, ,TOWIE, ,Vjera Vilicnik

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland Off Out Of Schedule S/S 2012 in Łódź: Martyna Czerwinska

Martyna Czerwinska by Cruz
Martyna Czerwinska S/S 2012 by Cruz.

Martyna Czerwinska was first to show on the Off Out Of Schedule catwalk on Friday morning bright and early. Her show was set to an old-school silhouette dance and featured plenty of elegant dresses that would be fit for an afternoon tea dance. Long dresses with inset patchwork fishtail trains were off set by the shortest of shorts, in velvet and patchwork. Men wore dashing patterned shirts with skinny ties and curious pink mountain brooches, but the stand out outfit for men was a dashing mustard zig-zag suit worn with a casual t-shirt underneath.

Martyna Czerwinska by Sarah Jayne Draws
Martyna Czerwinska S/S 2012 by SarahJayneDraws aka Sarah Jayne Morris.

Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012Martyna Czerwinska Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Czerwinska S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Cruz, ,dance, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Lodz, ,Martyna Czerwinska, ,menswear, ,Off Out Of Schedule, ,Patchwork, ,Sarah Jayne Morris

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Amelia’s Magazine | Bernard Chandran: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Bernard-Chandran-by-Scott-Nellis
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Scott Nellis.

Normally Matt Bramford insists on covering Bernard Chandran so I was a bit of a newbie to his catwalk show, attended by such luminaries as…. Keisha Buchanan, formerly of the Sugababes. Not perhaps someone that I would have pinpointed as a fan, but she was overheard saying that this is her third Bernard show so she is no doubt better acquainted with his work than me.

Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory Keisha
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Lo Parkin
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Lo Parkin.

The show began with a double act – two models in white, black and shades of charcoal grey striding out to an incongruous Junglist soundtrack. Their hair was set in sleek forward facing Victory rolls and pale grey tinted eyebrows combined with bright red lips to give an elegant feel. All the emphasis was on the throat, with extravagant folding collars standing high on the neck. This look was repeated throughout the collection: appearing as a design detail on a calf length quilted coat, or as jewelled neck pieces – the main adornments for silky evening dresses.

Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory Keisha
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Cruz
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Cruz.

Midnight blue satin, black velvet, delicate lacy materials, sequin embellishments – there was beauty in textures here, mainly in dark shades befitting an A/W collection. Transparent and sheer pieces in muted nude, dusky rose and chocolate tones lifted the colour palette but it was a beautiful belted coat dress that really caught my eye: it featured what looked like a spattering of metallic car body paint across the front – whitely gleaming against the black ground under bright catwalk lights.

Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Janneke de Jong
Bernard Chandran A/W 2012 by Janneke de Jong.

Sparkling clutch bags echoed the heart like designs of neckpieces, and a particularly beautiful red jewelled neck piece paired with a black pants suit drew gasps from the audience. I imagine that once detached this could be worn as statement jewellery to perk up any throat in appealing style.

Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2012 - photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I’m not sure that Pandemonia (seated front row in lurid pink latex) will be taking much inspiration from Bernard Chandran for next season’s look, but this was an undeniably adult collection with great saleability – perfect for elegant ladies who desire a unique designer twist.

Categories ,A/W 2012, ,Bernard Chandran, ,Cruz, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Keisha Buchanan, ,Lo Parkin, ,Pandemonia, ,Scott Nellis, ,Sugababes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Bernard Chandran: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Bernard Chanrdan AW 2013 Rosa and Carlotta Crepax Illustrated Moodboard
Bernard Chandran A/W 2013 Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, Illustrated Moodboard.

Due to a seating mix up and a late arrival no one for Amelia’s Magazine was well placed to take photos at Bernard Chandran. Perched at the mouth of the catwalk I had a great view of the models’ amazing winged eyes and some interesting cut out backs, a nod to the 90s that has been increasingly popular on the catwalks this season.

Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran A/W 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

There was a real element of sports luxe to this collection, which began with tight fitting panelled dresses in jewel colours, the lyrca stretched from the high necks into hoods and over a flat visor. Embellishments came in the form of beading and painterly washes of colour in digital prints on A-line shift dresses, billowing blouses and boxy shirts. I particularly liked the loose plaits that held together uncovered hair: a look which has been popular on many catwalks for A/W 2013.

Bernard Chandran A/W 2013 by Jihyun Park
Bernard Chandran A/W 2013 by Jihyun Park.

Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bernard Chandran AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,90s, ,A/W 2013, ,Beading, ,Bernard Chandran, ,Illustrated Moodboard, ,Jihyun Park, ,London Fashion Week, ,print, ,Rosa and Carlotta Crepax

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion on Film: L’Amour Fou


Yves Saint Laurent by Krister Selin

The relationship between a fashion designer and his business manager-cum-lover isn’t a new concept to cinema. Anybody who has seen Valentino: The Last Emperor will have already witnessed the trials and tribulations when two men – one a rare, creative genius, the other a businessman, have to work together on a daily basis for fifty consecutive years.


Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge by Karolina Burdon

L’Amour Fou is a little different, however. For starters, where The Last Emperor was a celebration of Valentino‘s illustrious career, L’Amour Fou doubles as a celebration of Yves Saint Laurent‘s life. This film is more of a romantic tribute to the designer through the eyes of his partner, Pierre Berge.


Yves Saint Laurent A/W 1965 – the ‘Mondrian‘ dress – by Cruz

From the opening credits, I was hooked. An homage to Yves‘ ‘Love‘ cards that he designed and produced for staff (many on display at the Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech), flashes of colour and geometric shapes flood the screen. I saw the film at the ICA, and its diminutive cinema with old fashion red velour seats and dusty projector make the experience even more apt.


Yves Saint Laurent at his final show by Mitika Chohan

When the title sequence has rolled, we see Yves at a press conference declaring his resignation, juxtaposed with Berge‘s touching eulogy at Saint Laurent‘s funeral. We’re only about 6 minutes into the film here, and already I’m in pieces.


Yves Saint Laurent at Dior by Cruz

The film features archival footage of Yves Saint Laurent, from his days at Dior through to his greatest collections during the 1970s and 1980s, pieced together by Pierre‘s narration. The film skips between Yves Saint Laurent the fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent the art collector, and Yves Saint Laurent the tempestuous lover. The film culminates with the dramatic, poignant and record-breaking art auction of 2009 in which Yves and Pierre‘s entire art collection was auctioned for AIDS charities.


Yves Saint Laurent Wedding Dress S/S 1999 by Janneke de Jong

The film explores the early relationship between the pair – they met at Christian Dior‘s funeral and it was pretty much love at first sight. You can tell by how Pierre talks about Yves that this was not an easy relationship. Yves‘ crippling depression, substance abuse, morbid insecurities and changeable state of mind have taken their toll on ol’ Berge. But through all this, a glint in his eyes remains, as his relates countless stories about one of the world’s greatest, creative men.


Yves Saint Laurent for Zizi Jeanmaire by Joana Faria

Amidst the drama of the relationship, fashion fans won’t be disappointed. The film features never-before-seen photographs of Yves at Dior, adjusting hemlines and admiring his creations on models. There’s film footage of his most celebrated collections, from bridal wear to Russian-inspired collections in the mid-seventies. We see Zizi Jeanmaire dancing in one of Yves’ most spectacular creations made of feathers.


Opium advert (1977) by Katrina Conquista

Wondrous footage of the original Opium ad is one of the film’s many highlights – and Berge describes how controversial this was; not so much the advert but the name (the controversial adverts would follow, with Sophie Dahl naked and spread eagle for Opium and the first ever fully naked man in a print advertisement for M7). The irony, as Berge describes, was that Yves selected a name with a narcotic reference, when it would be alcohol and drugs that would almost destroy their relationship. Berge talks about this at length, and how Yves would only ever be happy moments after a show; Berge would have to wait another six months to witness that same level of happiness.


Opium advert (2000) featuring a naked Sophie Dahl by Katrina Conquista

But it is the couple’s love of art that dominates this film. After Yves‘ death, Berge decided to sell the collection that they had tirelessly put together over twenty years. Why? Because, after Yves‘ death, ‘the collection had lost the greater part of its significance.’ There are less sombre anecdotes in the film: ‘When Yves designed the Mondrian dress, we never dreamt that one day we would own one,’ Berge says with a smile.


Yves Saint Laurent A/W 1965 – the ‘Mondrian‘ dress – by Mitika Chohan

And so at the end of the film, during the auction, we see Pierre sitting backstage clapping his hands and marvelling at the record-breaking sales prices. Finally, he’s the last to leave the auction and we see him walking down the stairs of the Grand Palais. It’s a poignant ending to a pretty poignant film, and there’s something a bit sinister about it that I couldn’t really put my finger on – the endless shots of empty rooms? Christies‘ employees, the ‘undertakers of art’, boxing up paintings? Berge‘s willingness to openly discuss every facet of Yves’ personality, at the risk of seeming a little bitter? I’m not sure. But I loved it, nonetheless. It’s a sombre tribute, but a colourful one.

Categories ,AIDS, ,art, ,Christian Dior, ,Cruz, ,Dior, ,fashion, ,film, ,france, ,ica, ,illustration, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Joana Faria, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Katrina Conquista, ,Krister Selin, ,L’Amour Fou, ,M7, ,Majorelle Gardens, ,Marrakech, ,Mondrian, ,Opium, ,paris, ,Pierre Berge, ,Pierre Thoretton, ,review, ,Russia!, ,The Last Emperor, ,Valentino, ,Yves Saint Laurent, ,Zizi Jeanmaire

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion on Film: L’Amour Fou


Yves Saint Laurent by Krister Selin

The relationship between a fashion designer and his business manager-cum-lover isn’t a new concept to cinema. Anybody who has seen Valentino: The Last Emperor will have already witnessed the trials and tribulations when two men – one a rare, creative genius, the other a businessman, have to work together on a daily basis for fifty consecutive years.


Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge by Karolina Burdon

L’Amour Fou is a little different, however. For starters, where The Last Emperor was a celebration of Valentino‘s illustrious career, L’Amour Fou doubles as a celebration of Yves Saint Laurent‘s life. This film is more of a romantic tribute to the designer through the eyes of his partner, Pierre Berge.


Yves Saint Laurent A/W 1965 – the ‘Mondrian‘ dress – by Cruz

From the opening credits, I was hooked. An homage to Yves‘ ‘Love‘ cards that he designed and produced for staff (many on display at the Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech), flashes of colour and geometric shapes flood the screen. I saw the film at the ICA, and its diminutive cinema with old fashion red velour seats and dusty projector make the experience even more apt.


Yves Saint Laurent at his final show by Mitika Chohan

When the title sequence has rolled, we see Yves at a press conference declaring his resignation, juxtaposed with Berge‘s touching eulogy at Saint Laurent‘s funeral. We’re only about 6 minutes into the film here, and already I’m in pieces.


Yves Saint Laurent at Dior by Cruz

The film features archival footage of Yves Saint Laurent, from his days at Dior through to his greatest collections during the 1970s and 1980s, pieced together by Pierre‘s narration. The film skips between Yves Saint Laurent the fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent the art collector, and Yves Saint Laurent the tempestuous lover. The film culminates with the dramatic, poignant and record-breaking art auction of 2009 in which Yves and Pierre‘s entire art collection was auctioned for AIDS charities.


Yves Saint Laurent Wedding Dress S/S 1999 by Janneke de Jong

The film explores the early relationship between the pair – they met at Christian Dior‘s funeral and it was pretty much love at first sight. You can tell by how Pierre talks about Yves that this was not an easy relationship. Yves‘ crippling depression, substance abuse, morbid insecurities and changeable state of mind have taken their toll on ol’ Berge. But through all this, a glint in his eyes remains, as his relates countless stories about one of the world’s greatest, creative men.


Yves Saint Laurent for Zizi Jeanmaire by Joana Faria

Amidst the drama of the relationship, fashion fans won’t be disappointed. The film features never-before-seen photographs of Yves at Dior, adjusting hemlines and admiring his creations on models. There’s film footage of his most celebrated collections, from bridal wear to Russian-inspired collections in the mid-seventies. We see Zizi Jeanmaire dancing in one of Yves’ most spectacular creations made of feathers.


Opium advert (1977) by Katrina Conquista

Wondrous footage of the original Opium ad is one of the film’s many highlights – and Berge describes how controversial this was; not so much the advert but the name (the controversial adverts would follow, with Sophie Dahl naked and spread eagle for Opium and the first ever fully naked man in a print advertisement for M7). The irony, as Berge describes, was that Yves selected a name with a narcotic reference, when it would be alcohol and drugs that would almost destroy their relationship. Berge talks about this at length, and how Yves would only ever be happy moments after a show; Berge would have to wait another six months to witness that same level of happiness.


Opium advert (2000) featuring a naked Sophie Dahl by Katrina Conquista

But it is the couple’s love of art that dominates this film. After Yves‘ death, Berge decided to sell the collection that they had tirelessly put together over twenty years. Why? Because, after Yves‘ death, ‘the collection had lost the greater part of its significance.’ There are less sombre anecdotes in the film: ‘When Yves designed the Mondrian dress, we never dreamt that one day we would own one,’ Berge says with a smile.


Yves Saint Laurent A/W 1965 – the ‘Mondrian‘ dress – by Mitika Chohan

And so at the end of the film, during the auction, we see Pierre sitting backstage clapping his hands and marvelling at the record-breaking sales prices. Finally, he’s the last to leave the auction and we see him walking down the stairs of the Grand Palais. It’s a poignant ending to a pretty poignant film, and there’s something a bit sinister about it that I couldn’t really put my finger on – the endless shots of empty rooms? Christies‘ employees, the ‘undertakers of art’, boxing up paintings? Berge‘s willingness to openly discuss every facet of Yves’ personality, at the risk of seeming a little bitter? I’m not sure. But I loved it, nonetheless. It’s a sombre tribute, but a colourful one.

Categories ,AIDS, ,art, ,Christian Dior, ,Cruz, ,Dior, ,fashion, ,film, ,france, ,ica, ,illustration, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Joana Faria, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Katrina Conquista, ,Krister Selin, ,L’Amour Fou, ,M7, ,Majorelle Gardens, ,Marrakech, ,Mondrian, ,Opium, ,paris, ,Pierre Berge, ,Pierre Thoretton, ,review, ,Russia!, ,The Last Emperor, ,Valentino, ,Yves Saint Laurent, ,Zizi Jeanmaire

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