Guy Bourdin’s Films

You know it’s a good party when Albert Elbaz rolls up without even an entourage in tow. He was immediately swarmed by well-wishers still swooning over his unanimously adored Lanvin collection. He graciously accepted the accolades but quickly changed the subject, saying, “It’s not about that tonight!” It was about the much-anticipated opening at Le Bon Marche of Guy Bourdin’s Films, never-before-seen footage from the late master’s celluloid collection.

Shot on silent super-sixteen during some of his most memorable shoots, the projected films attest to Bourdin’s ruthless pursuit of beauty that often verged on the reckless, if not the misanthropic—like a mix of poetry and snuff films. We watched antics like covering a model in plastic gems until she fainted from asphyxiation, hanging models upside down in elaborate contraptions and restaging his first wife’s suicide as a fashion shoot. But, hey, he always got his shot.  

The fashion pack turned out in droves, including Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Ellen Von Unwerth, Central Saint Martins’ Louise Wilson, Maggie Cheung,  Lara Stone, Grace Coddington and most of Givenchy’s front row, also still swooning over Riccardo Tisci’s triumph. It’s no secret the French know how to party. We danced the night away like it was a Long Island bar mitzvah. 

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