Not a Saint, That St. Laurent

Aymeline Valade

Aymeline Valade. Photo by Patrick McMullan Company.

On Wednesday evening, a fashionable crowd gathered at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for a special screening of Bertrand Bonello’s unauthorized biopic, Saint Laurent, presented by the Cinema Society and W Magazine. The filmfollows, in the director’s words, “the most crazy, creative, sexy,” decade of Yves Saint Laurent’s life from 1967 to 1976, depicting the late designer (excellently portrayed by Gaspard Ulliel) at work and play in a complex, often-convoluted life with partner Pierre Bergé. Though the film does not have Bergé’s blessing, Bonello seemed undaunted. “One thing I really care about is my freedom,” he said at the screening. “It’s difficult to have freedom with Pierre Bergé next to you. He is a man of control.”

Speaking of creative liberty, Ulliel, dressed for the evening in Balenciaga, explained his yearlong process preparing for the role of Yves: “I realized that I had to step back from reality to actually clear some space within which I could fantasize about this character—reinvent my own character of Saint Laurent.” Likewise, a still-blonde Aymeline Valade stopped modeling before transforming into Saint Laurent’s muse Betty Catroux on-screen. In speaking with those close to Catroux, Valade discovered small personality quirks like Catroux constantly pulling her hair behind ear, and was rarely without a lit cigarette. “I was trying to find the vibes, more than what people think,” she said. “I think that what makes someone is what you feel when you see her.”

After the screening, guests like Juliette Lewis, Alaia Baldwin, Rachel Roy, Crystal Renn, Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, and Zani Gugelmann made their way to Ladurée SoHo for a fashionable party in the cherry blossom-filled garden.