Pierre Niney and Jalil Lespert

Pierre Niney and Jalil Lespert

On Monday night, Yves Saint Laurent, a biopic that follows the designer (masterfully played by 25-year-old Pierre Niney) and his confidante, lover, and business partner, Pierre Bergé (Guillaume Gallienne) from their first encounter to the very end, premiered before an entranced crowd, including Karlie Kloss, Scout Willis, Elisa Sedanoui, and Stephanie March. Although Bergé has been clear in his support of the film, he was not present, leaving the film’s director Jalil Lespert to speak on his behalf.

“[Bergé] didn’t want to talk about the dark side [of their relationship],” explained Lespert before the film’s screening. “As a director, I wanted to show the dark side, but also how it was important for Yves Saint Laurent— with these psychological problems— to fight against them by creation.” And a dark side it was: Saint Laurent struggled with severe anxiety and depression throughout his career—from his early days as Christian Dior’s assistant, through the drug-fueled ‘70s when he designed the iconic Mondrian dress and female tuxedo, to his solitary last years. The somber mood of the film lifted as guests headed to the after party at Beautique—a new venue with disco-era décor reminiscent of the designer’s heyday—to clink glasses and toast a beaming Niney.