Product placement in the cinema has always been a great way for brands to promote their products, but the relationship between Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent went beyond the screen; becoming part of her personality as a star and part of the brand as a model.

Their long lasting relationship started when they worked together for Luis Bunuel’s film Belle de Jour in 1966. There were different scenes where he dressed her in such an ordinary way that the clothes become attention grabbing because of that. Cardigans in nude, wool hats or winter jumpers were an example of this.

Catherine Deneuve in The Belle Jour

However, it is interesting to see how we notice the clothes before we notice the star. We engage with the wardrobe rather than the character, for example, in the scene below you know the actress has made an entrance because of the trench coat and hat that she is wearing.

Catherine Deneuve in The Belle Jour

Same thing with the shoes, where we can find different scenes that don’t really matter for the plot but work perfectly to show what she is wearing.

Catherine Deneuve in The Belle Jour

In Belle du Jour, Ives Saint Laurent is a major collaboration, but in The Hunger, Laurent’s influence goes a step further and the film becomes an advert for the brand.

Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger

It is interesting to point out the difference between Catherine Deneuve on screen and in real life. Represent as an elegant Parisian girl in movies, Deneuve was in fact a bohemian girl, married to David Bailey who held the city of London dear to her heart.

It is was not until after her marriage with Bailey broke down, coinciding with her relationship with Marcello Mastroianni, that we saw Catherine Deneuve wearing clothes she would wear on set in her personal life.

Catherine Deneuve and David Bailey
Catherine Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni

Their relationship became that close that in the last catwalk show that Yves Saint Laurent showed, she sang for him. Six month later, the mythic designer would die, living a memorable footprint on the fashion history.


By Laura Roig Vericat

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