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YVES SAINT LAURENT

High fashion designer

In 1983, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought Château Gabriel in Benerville-sur-Mer, where Proust met the publisher Gallimard. A great admirer of Marcel Proust, Yves-Saint-Laurent had his Norman castle decorated by Jacques Grange in homage to the writer. All the bedrooms in the villa have been named after the characters from “The Search for Lost Time. "

The regulars have their room there, Charlotte Aillaud is Oriane de Guermantes, Anne-Marie Muñoz is Albertine, Loulou and Thadée Klossowski are the Verdurins, Madison Cox is Morel, Betty Catroux is Madeleine Lemaire, Yves Saint Laurent is Charles Swann and Pierre Bergé is Baron Palamède de Charlus.

“It's my haven between storms. I come here to replenish my strength between two anxieties », Confided during a rare interview Yves Saint Laurent. Far from the mundane, the couturier liked to come and recharge his batteries at Château Gabriel, draw and live his passion for decoration and horticulture there. Recognized patron and neighbor of the parish, in 1977 he took charge of part of the restoration of the Saint-Laurent church in Deauville (especially the roof), an action which earned him honorary citizenship by Anne d'Ornano. In 1988, the association of Friends of Saint Laurent church provided the building with a new bell. Yves Saint Laurent is the godfather and Anne d'Ornano the godmother. Today, the small church of Mont-Canisy is listed in the inventory of historical monuments.

In September 2008, Philippe Augier, Mayor of Deauville and Pierre Bergé inaugurated Place Yves Saint Laurent in Deauville, at the crossroads of the Casino and the Printemps store. The event was part of the Heritage Days, the national theme of which was "Heritage and creation". A theme made for Deauville whose history has been marked by creativity and the arts for over a century.

“The most representative of this thirst for horticultural arrangements reminiscent of Goethe, the Prince of Ligne, throughout the Age of Enlightenment, is undoubtedly the grounds of Château Gabriel, which they have covered with the most bewildering factories. Mad about Visconti, of whom he particularly admired Death in Venice, Saint Laurent liked to think about the terrible fate of Louis II of Bavaria. With Pierre Bergé, the dream became matter. He had fir trees planted and a lake dug like the one where the virgin king had drowned. Another day, Yves having appreciated India Song, by Marguerite Duras, a room identical to the decor of the film was fitted out. On yet another day, back from Leningrad (the city was still called that) where they had sponsored the restoration of the costumes of Catherine II, the two lovers erected in the grounds of the Gabriel Castle a tea pavilion on the model of the dachas that Peter the Great was built on the Isthmus of Karelia. With their personal touch however. If the logs came from Siberia (why?), The stained glass windows were French and dated from the XNUMXth century. As for the inspiration, it always came from Visconti… ”

Fiona Levis, Author of Yves Saint Laurent, the color man of time, at Editions du Rocher