Belle de Jour

Director: Luis Buñuel
Screenplay: Luis Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière, adapted from the novel by Joseph Kessel
Costumes: Yves Saint Laurent
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli, Geneviève Page, Pierre Clémenti, Françoise Fabian, Macha Méril…   

For Luis Buñuel’s 1967 film Belle de Jour, Yves Saint Laurent created an entire wardrobe for Catherine Deneuve’s character Séverine Serizy, a young bourgeoise who finds meaning in her extramarital encounters in a brothel. Wearing Saint Laurent’s clothing, Séverine is at once fragile and seductive, especially in the legendary black vinyl trench coat with knit sleeves and the austere black dress with ivory satin cuffs and collar. The character of Séverine was reminiscent of the young Saint Laurent, a well-behaved and melancholic child tormented by inner demons.

Saint Laurent’s designs for the film were so successful that they found their way into popular fashion. The shoes worn by Catherine Deneuve, which Saint Laurent designed for his Spring-Summer 1965 collection, gained cult status and were eventually named after the film. Sales of the trench coat, which was part of the SAINT LAURENT rive gauche 1966 collection, increased due to the film’s popularity.

The character’s style really owes a lot to the image Saint Laurent created.

Catherine Deneuve.