An artist is nothing without his muse—or so it goes. But how often does an artist truly pay tribute in ways nothing less than extraordinary? In his time, Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello has honoured Yves Saint Laurent’s passion for the cinema and actresses. In particular, the extraordinary friendship the couturier had with the French actress Catherine Deneuve, referencing the now 78 year-old thespian in present day collections, having her model in campaigns and even appearances on Smoking, the brand's podcast.
It’s undisputed that Deneuve has consistently personified an idea of freedom, both in her remarkably personal craft as well as in the elegance of her physical presence—which has lent dimension to every character she's portrayed over the years, making her a wellspring of inspiration for both Saint Laurent himself and Vaccarello.
The latest of Vaccarello's tributes to the actress is Une Nuit avec Deneuve, an open-to-the-public event held at the Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi in Venice (part of the ongoing film festival), where some of the most important films of Deneuve's career will be screened in the presence of the French film star herself.
The audience will have the opportunity to rewatch screenings of Deneuve’s highly influential roles in Mississippi Mermaid, The Hunger, and Heartbeat (to name a few) anytime between 11 pm and dawn at the Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi. These films also serve to acknowledge the impact of Saint Laurent in her career trajectory and the friendship she continues to share with Vaccarello. Bruno Racine, director of Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana (which houses the Pinault art collection) expressed his joy in being roped in for the celebration: “Her work has marked the evolution of French and European cinema, while with her talent and grace, she gave life to some of the most indelible characters in film history, thus becoming a role model for the generations that have followed her.”
“For Une Nuit avec Deneuve I wanted to recreate that rare chemistry that sometimes occurs between a gifted director, an actor’s performance, and exacting style," explains Vaccarello in press notes. "In each of the cinematic modes explored in this journey from the 1960s to the 1980s—drama, thriller, and romance—Deneuve reveals a different notion of femininity. In two of these films, the ones that open and close the night, Deneuve is dressed by Yves Saint Laurent,” he adds.
While it’s rather unfortunate that we can’t be there to soak in the celebration of the actress' career, Saint Laurent's fashion, and her friendship with the couturier and Vaccarello, you can still infuse your wardrobes with a slice of Deneuve inspiration. The brand's Fall 2022 collection for men is inspired by the sensuality and power of Deneuve's film Belle du Jour, which you can discover as modelled by our cover star Mark Tuan.