[INDIE REWIND] QUEL SCANDALE!: Yves Saint Laurent, Drug-Addled Diva
Jul 27, 2012 - by Lester Brathwaite
In the wake of all the controversy surrounding Hedi Slimane's rebranding of Yves Saint Laurent, it's important to remember just who the man behind the legendary house was -- a drug-addicted, drunken tyrant who was not above throwing an ashtray at an assistant. Diva, thy name is YSL.
There's nothing better than an unauthorized biography for all the most salacious gossip. Saint Laurent: Bad Boy by French journalist Marie-Dominique Lelièvre claims Saint Laurent was "frightfully unhappy" and "devoured by anxiety." He would consume amphetamines and tranquilizers, sniff cocaine, take Valium and drink whiskey straight out of the bottle in an effort to deal with his success, something a friend alluded to as the "Judy Garland Syndrome."
Some say Judy Garland Syndrome, I say "It's called being a star." And part of that star package is abusing those around you. "Several times, witnesses saw him lose his head and throw objects at people. His physical power was as great as his inner strength. Yves was an athlete as far as ashtraythrowing is concerned,claims the bio.
Saint Laurent's demons were allegedly rooted in his homosexuality and his insecurities surrounding it. "He had relationships with Arab boys in Algeria. People laughed at him at school, he was called a poof," said Lelièvre. But wait, it gets better. Yves would also prowl nightclubs in search of savage and hazardous sexcapades that would often land him in the hospital.
I'm assuming that means injuries suffered at the gruff hands of rough trade and not from the plethora of venereal diseases contracted in his practice.
Through it all, Pierre Bergé, his lifelong companion -- who refused to support "a jumble of poorly verified gossip and therefore did not take part in the bio -- stood by his side. Bergé, however, is described as a remedy and a poison to YSL, who chose as his partner a man who compensated for his weaknesses. In making himself indispensable, Bergé robbed Saint Laurent of his autonomy. He turned him into an assisted diva."
Well, sometimes a diva needs a little assistance getting out of her bed in the morning, or pouring her cocktail or smuggling her illegal amphetamines into the country. Is anything wrong with that? [Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph]