Thursday, July 28, 2011

5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris


If you want to spend some time inside an haute couture atelier, watching amazing dresses come to life, I highly recommend renting Yves Saint Laurent, the two-part feature film, and going straight to part two, 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris, the documentary showing Saint Laurent putting together his final collection before his retirement in 2002. Joined by his longtime muse, Loulou de la Falaise, trusted advisor, Anne-Marie Muñoz, and his seamstresses—look for Georgette, my favorite, with glasses and short red hair—you watch Yves and his team transforming his sketches into glorious haute couture. This was the film that made me want to start sewing again.

I read complaints on Netflix that this movie was boring, but I disagree. It is meditative and there are no voice-overs (although there are English translations), but I liked this fly-on-the-wall approach. It made me feel like I was actually in the room and showed me the inner workings of an atelier and the unbelievable skill of the women and men who worked for Yves. His affection for them is touching and some of the best parts of the film are when Yves is watching a beautiful model walk into his gilded salon, him seeing for the first time one of his sketches come to life. He would say, “Oh, ravissante!” (Ravishing!) with utter pleasure and then praise the seamstress who accompanies the dress when she presents it to him. It’s fascinating to see the collaborative process between Yves Saint Laurent, one of the world’s most famous and iconic fashion designers, and the talented tailors and seamstresses who turn his vision into wearable, exquisite reality.

10 comments:

Adrienne said...

I'll have to put this in my queue. A lot of movies that people find boring I find interesting. I rented a Truffaut movie from the 70's ("Two English Girls") and the reviews were mostly that it was painfully dull. I must be easily entertained because I was enthralled. Go figure.

Aesthetic Alterations said...

I so very much want to see this movie and will Netflix it immediately. Isn't there another movie coming about--about the selling of YSL's art collection? I would love to see that, too, and hope it comes to the artsy cinema in Tulsa.

fashionoverfifty said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I think a lot of fashion/style movies most people may find boring--but not us! Maybe it will inspire me to start sewing more too. I dabble, but justcant seem to sew a whole dress--ya know what I mean?

Terri said...

I think I saw this film recently...and I was fascinating by the model in the last part of the film. I enjoyed seeing the design come to life, but the treatment of the model left a deep impression on me.

Veshoevius said...

I think fashionoverfifty is right - you have to be into fashion to appreciate the thrill of that fly on the wall feeling of an industry whose internals workings are buried so far away from the glossy end product - its what i loved about following Grace Coddington around on the September Issue. Still waiting to see Bill's movie! I live in hope. BTW I read Gualtier is taking a retrospective exhibition to Toronto! (I know its nowhere near you but its a hell of a lot closer to you than me!)

jill815 said...

Hi Adrienne, thanks for giving me a movie to add to my Netflix list! You suggested another one I've added too, was it 'La Piscine'? If you see this YSL documentary, let me know what you think!

jill815 said...

Hi Catherine, I know the movie you are talking about, it's 'L'Amour Fou,' and yes, I believe it is about Pierre Berge, YSL's partner, selling off the things they collected during their life together, after Yves's death. I want to see it but I don't know if it's still playing in the city.

jill815 said...

Hi Paula, I love all these fashion movies and books. I always learn something new. This documentary definitely made me want to start sewing again but I haven't gotten very far on my skirt, the facing is finished but that is all! Summer could possibly be over before I complete my summer skirt!

jill815 said...

Hi Terri, which model do you mean? The very last girl, the gorgeous blonde? Yves and the seamstress were talking about her, not to her, weren't they, he was fascinated about where she was from. But the seamstress answered for her. I know what you mean, the models did pretty much have to show off whatever they were wearing but not speak. I wonder if it's like that in all ateliers? I hope they were being paid well!

jill815 said...

Hi Veshoevius! The more I read/see/learn about the fashion industry, the more I realize that what I want to know most of all is how they get to the end product. And I find the personalities of these people very interesting, I love hearing about their backgrounds. Regarding Grace Coddington, I just read a couple of days ago that she supposedly got a book deal to write a memoir. So exciting, I can't wait to read it. I think everyone fell in love with her after seeing 'The September Issue' and the book will be a certain best-seller. I hope she does a signing so I can meet her in person! Can you imagine how mobbed it will be?