BY THE LETTER: Pierre Bergé reunited with Jalil Lespert, director of the recently released biopic “Yves Saint Laurent,” and Saint Laurent biographer Laurence Benaïm for a conversation held at Paris concept store Colette on Friday.
Saint Laurent’s former partner gave the audience packed into the store’s basement water bar a glimpse of his famously irascible nature. Upon discovering that Colette did not have any copies of his book, “Letters to Yves,” for the signing session after the talk, Bergé loudly berated a member of the store’s team for the omission.
The conversation quickly turned to the topic at hand, as the trio in turn invoked literary references ranging from Jean Anouilh to Maurice Maeterlink, Jean Cocteau, Jack London and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in their discussion of Saint Laurent’s life and times.
At one point, Benaïm tentatively compared Bergé to the lonely sovereign Creon in Anouilh’s play “Antigone,” but Bergé insisted he was closer to the title character, quoting Anouilh’s description of her as the “thin little creature sitting over there.” Colette staffers were taking no chances: By the end of the round table, a pile of copies of “Letters to Yves” had materialized.