Saint Laurent Productions Unites Film, Fashion at Cannes

Sophomore slump? Not for Saint Laurent Productions. 

One year after a high-profile splash with its debut film project — Pedro Almodóvar’s gay cowboy Western Strange Way of Life — the luxury house’s production division returns to the Cannes Film Festival with three starry films in the main competition: Jacques Audiard’s Emilia Perez, David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds and Paolo Sorrentino’s Parthenope.

Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello is credited as a producer on the pics, and he and his team delivered cast wardrobes. Emilia Perez stars Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez and Édgar Ramírez in the story of a lawyer who receives an unexpected offer to help a feared cartel boss disappear by becoming the woman he’s always dreamed of being.

The Shrouds stars Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger, Guy Pearce and Sandrine Holt, and follows a businessman who, after the death of his wife, copes by inventing a controversial technology that enables the living to monitor the departed in their shrouds. Parthenope casts Dario Aita, Celeste Dalla Porta, Silvia Degrandi and Isabella Ferrari, and is described as a feminine epic about a woman’s search for happiness over the long summers of her youth.

The Shrouds‘ Cassel and Kruger.

Cannes Film Festival

Securing a trio of titles in a fest would be a feat for any company, let alone a nascent division that is the brainchild of a fashion designer. Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello is responsible for sewing the vision for the production arm, first revealed in April 2023 ahead of last year’s Cannes edition. At the time, Vaccarello explained his intents simply by stating, “I want to work with and provide a space for all the great film talents who have inspired me over the years.”

While Vaccarello was not available for comment ahead of the festival, Sorrentino tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Working with YSL was first and foremost a pleasant surprise for me because I understood from the beginning that their role was that of a pure film producer. An intelligent and generous producer with whom I interacted with great freedom and in a profitable manner, and with whom I shared a single objective: trying to make the best movie possible.” 

Cronenberg calls it “thrilling” to premiere his latest in Cannes alongside the fashion house. “Saint Laurent became involved in the production at a very early stage, and therefore were able to shape with the power and design strength of their team, and particularly Anthony Vaccarello, many important aspects of the film’s principal characters.” 

Parthenope

Gianni Fiorito/Cannes Film Festival

Film has been important to Vaccarello for some time. For many designers, fashion and film go hand in hand, and while the red carpet may be the most obvious destination, houses like Saint Laurent, Gucci and Chanel have long dabbled in film by drafting filmmakers to collaborate on campaigns, short films or special programs.

Saint Laurent’s credits in the cinematic arts includes Gaspar Noë’s short film Summer of ’21, which debuted in December 2020 and featured the house’s newest collection at the time. Noë and Saint Laurent went on to partner on the short Lux Aeterna that debuted in Cannes in 2022, pre-dating the production company. Jim Jarmusch worked with Saint Laurent on the 2021 short French Water starring Julianne Moore, Chloe Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Indya Moore and Leo Reilly, which also featured a collection.

Merging a talent for design with a passion for film is “brilliant,” says Manu Rios, the actor who broke out In Netflix’s Elite and scored a key role in Almodovar’s Strange Way of Life helping to set the mood with his silky voice in a cameo. “As an actor, having the right clothes really puts you in the mindset of the character,” says Rios, who cited Vaccarello’s skill in suiting up his co-stars. “Everything was so well thought out. The details were amazing. Everything fits super well and I feel like people can notice that. Also the actors are super connected the performance because of the clothes.”

Team gunslingers: Strange Way of Life’s Manu Rios, Jason Fernández, Ethan Hawke, filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, Anthony Vaccarello, José Condessa and George Steane pose on the red carpet for the premiere of Monster during the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2023.

Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

Designer Anthony Vaccarello takes in the applause following the Saint Laurent womenswear fall/winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on Feb. 27, 2024.

Francois Durand/Getty Images


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