Yves Saint Laurent was the last of the great Parisian couturiers. In 2002, he bid the fashion world adieu with one final collection. Celebration is an immersive experience in an industry that can sometimes feel like you’re on another planet. This portrait of a fashion icon in those final years takes the form of a panoramic, no-nonsense montage of observations behind the scenes, with Saint Laurent seeming fragile and at times a little remote. The man himself remains out of the picture most of the time, and it’s his partner Pierre Bergé who directs the industrious seamstresses, the models, the photo sessions, and pretty much anything else happening on the work floor.
Impressions filmed in black and white are intercut with other events, such as members of his staff visiting a vacant building where the fashion house was once based, a ceremony at the Luxor obelisk, a speech Saint Laurent gives in New York upon receiving an award, and excerpts from an interview with a journalist in which he seems vulnerable but optimistic.
After initially cooperating with the film, the fashion company objected to its release. An earlier version was shown at the 2007 Berlinale.
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