"He was a manic depressive": Yves Saint Laurent"s former lover on life with the iconic designer
“He was a manic depressive”: Yves Saint Laurent”s former lover on life with the iconic designer
6:59 PM on 13th May 2011
Yves Saint Laurent”s former lover has revealed the designer spent his life batting bipolar disorder.
Pierre Berg opened up in an interview to promote new French film L’Amour Fou (Crazy Love), claiming the iconic fashion figure battled with a drug and alcohol addiction.
Berg told the New York Times: “He was manic-depressive, exactly what the word means, manic and depressive.
Amour Fou: Yves Saint Laurent, left, pictured with his lover Pierre Berg, was battling drug and alcohol addiction
“This means periods when he did every sort of thing crazy with happiness, and then the next day, it was blackness.”
“It was depression that drove him towards alcoholism, and afterwards a little towards drugs. Voil.’
The lover-turned-business-partner was famously protective of Saint Laurent, who died from cancer in June 2008.
End of an era: The designer, pictured at one of his shows in 1993, died of cancer in Jume 2008
Berg said: “Even with a wonderful collection, he was a very, very unhappy, unhappy guy”
“When you have a relationship with an alcoholic, a drug user, you are forced to have very difficult relations.’
The show must go on: YSL continues to successfully run under the creative helm of Stefano Pilati
L”Amour Fou chronicles the sixty-year long partnership Pierre, 80, shared with the designer.
The documentary, directed by Pierre Thoretton, showed at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
It tells the story of the 2009 Christie’s auction which pawned off 700 plus artworks the two collected during the sixty years they shared.
The auction, Berg has since described as ‘very violent exorcism.’
Such a yard-sale seems ruthless when compared with the typical French tradition to pass ones collection onto their heir.
This, Mr Berg said, is something he would preferred to have done:
‘It would have been a museum that married art with fashion… I wanted to do it.’
The collection combined their Old Master drawings, bronzes, paintings, sculptures, furniture, collectibles, along with examples of YSL designs.
But he bemoaned it would have been ‘too complicated and too expensive.’
And indeed the “exorcism” was lucrative – netting an impressive $484million.
Though it is unclear how much of this Mr Berg received.
The film depicts the callousness of the mass-sale, as the art of Mr Laurent”s life is categorised and labelled, ready for pawning to the highest bidder.
In it, Mr Berg doesn”t seem to be too phased: “I don’t believe in the soul, neither in my own, nor in that of these objects.”