Saint Laurent cinematic connection comes full circle in Cannes

For the Festival’s 2024 edition, the luxury house-turned-production studio is realizing Anthony Vaccarello’s expansive ambitions on the silver screen

Since the day that Yves Saint Laurent encountered the indelible image of Marlene Dietrich blithely smoking in top hat and tuxedo, cinema has been the ink tint of the Saint Laurent signature. Now, 62 years after its founding, the house is holding firm to its film foundations. Anthony Vaccarello—the self-proclaimed cinéaste—has, in his near-decade at the helm of the house, metamorphosed a luxury fashion pillar into a cinematic spectacle. Didn’t see the short film for the Winter 2023 collection? Didn’t catch the runway at last winter’s Paris Fashion Week? Vaccarello is creating phantasmagorias worthy of the silver screen.

In 2023, Vaccarello made that metamorphosis all the more real when he announced Saint Laurent Productions, a full-fledged film studio subsidiary to the house’s main activities. Preliminary collaborations with Gaspar Noé, Pedro Almodóvar, and Jean-Luc Godard whet our collective appetite—and for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, we’re finally getting the entrée we’ve been waiting for.

Saint Laurent Productions is entering three of its films in competition for the festival’s 77th edition: Jacques Audiard’s Emilia Perez, about a lawyer who helps a fugitive cartel kingpin undergo gender reassignment surgery to evade capture; The Shrouds, a techno-horror film starring the irresistible Vincent Cassel, piped straight from the febrile mind of David Cronenberg; and, from the Oscar-winning Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, Parthenope, an elegiac tone-poem to Naples, the “ineffable city that bewitches, enchants, screams, laughs, and always knows how to hurt you.” These are no mere fashionable fancies; Vaccarello and co. are in the business of building a cinematic reputation. May the Croisette at Cannes be the first step towards the emergence of a new studio powerhouse.