“How young and beautiful was Paris that morning when we met. You were his first battle. On that day, you know the fame and since you and her never broke up. How could I imagine that 50 years later we find ourselves here, face to face, and I’ll tell you the last words of farewell. The last time I’m talking to you, Eve. Other times I will be gone. I appeal to you, though you won’t be able to hear me and reply….”, said Pierre Berge at the funeral of his former partner and love life of Yves Saint Laurent, which became 1 June 2008.
Their love story began in 1958. They met during the show, the debut collection by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior fashion House, where he began his brilliant career. Although he told Berger that he had noticed the young Saint-Laurent a bit earlier at the funeral of Monsieur Christian Dior and immediately felt in this meeting the purpose.
Berger commercial acumen and talent of Saint Laurent allowed them not only to fill our lives, but also to change the course of history of fashion of the last century. Thanks to Berger appeared the fashion House YSL (Yves Saint Laurent), which influenced how they dressed and felt like women in the second half of the twentieth century. In 1960, the year Saint Laurent was dismissed from Christian Dior and lovers have decided they need to start their own label. Pierre Berge began searching for an investor and eventually found one American who has agreed to assume all the risks of the future. “Yves was already famous and this helped us to get the money. The first collection under the name of YSL we showed in January 1962, recalls Berger in the film “Crazy love”. -It was a huge success and it was an important step for us. It identified much.”
In numerous interviews Pierre and Yves often did not focus on the importance of myself in this duet, and confessed their love to each other. So, Berger has always maintained that the main thing was the talent of IVA, who is broke and without it, and Saint-Laurent, in turn, was repeated on a strong shoulder, without which it simply could not survive. For example, Berger invited the designer to work towards pret-a-porter, which allowed YSL brand become more popular and in demand. “People young and not rich is not such a big selection of clothing. I don’t like it, I want to fix it, – says the designer. I want to make people happy. That’s my goal”.
United by their love of art. They loved to buy paintings, furnishings and sculpture, and his collection was called “the subject of random encounters”, since enlarged it haphazard, more based on immediate impression and desire. The sculptures of Brancusi have them side by side with vases bought at flea markets, and the work of Mondrian and Goya with handmade finds from bazaars.
Another symbol of their love – Marrakech. They fell in love with this place at first sight: “When we came here on vacation after the show couture collection, the eight days it was raining, and on the ninth finally the sun came out and we saw all its beauty – the famous gardens, the Atlas mountains”. Almost immediately they decided that they want to live here, at least a few weeks out of the year. Berger instantly found a home and a week later they already lived in Medina in a place called “Lemon garden”. They lived there in the main nightlife, when it became cool. This time, they are considered to be one of the happiest. “I remember him not with nostalgia but with joy. We were young and full of energy”, – he told me once, Pierre Berge. This place is all about and an important source of inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent, who absorbed these colors and odors, recreating them on the podium.
A strong test of their love became drugs and alcohol, to which Ive become addicted in the 1970s. According to Berger, he suggested that this might happen, knowing under what pressure were the designers and what is the downside of success in the fashion industry. “I knew that if one day he will find the opportunity to escape – he will do it. It happened.” His friends told me that then the design became very excited and in that state was born his collection Opéras – Ballets russes, inspired by the work of Diaghilev and léon Bakst. “He was in full delirium, but the drawings were great, he did them by the hundreds,” recalls Lulu de La Falaise. At Pierre bergé’s memories of those times was even more gloomy, “March 6, 1976, he was out all night. At last he returned, but in terrible condition. And then the doorbell rang and we went to some guys who called him to walk on. He was gone again. This was the last straw. I Packed my bags and left the hotel. Lived there for a month. Then returned to him, but his partying continued. Then I still ran away, even though I was very hard to part with Yves”.
Despite the breakup, Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent remained business partners and friends. Berger as before engaged in all the Affairs of the brand: “Fame has brought him continuous suffering. He was happy twice a year when he went on the nod in the final collection, and the audience welcomed it standing. And then he again plunged into sadness and loneliness. I tried everything to help him.”
In 2002, tired of health problems and a new device industry, Yves Saint Laurent retired, but Pierre Berge here and managed to do the impossible. 5 December of the same year appeared the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, bringing together a vast heritage of the legendary couturier with a 40-year career. Many years later, on the eve of the opening of the Museum of Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech, to which Berger has not lived only 25 days, he said, “I used the memories to turn into projects. We had a great journey in life, which we didn’t know how it will end, but enjoyed every minute of it”.