In yet another instance of collaboration between filmmaker and fashion house, Saint Laurent has released SUMMER OF ‘21, an eight-minute fashion film directed by Gaspar Noé. Labelled by many as a controversial filmmaker thanks to his frank depictions of eroticism and violence in films like Enter the Void (2009), Love (2015) and Climax (2018), Noé has increasingly turned to fashion as a means of artistic expression.
Saint Laurent first commissioned Noé in 2019 to direct Lux Æterna, a 50-minute film featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Béatrice Dalle, Abbey Lee Kershaw and more in a meditation on the art of filmmaking. This collaboration was part of a Saint Laurent creative project curated by creative director Anthony Vaccarello called SELF, in which directors including Noé, Wong Kar Wai and Bret Easton Ellis were invited to 'convey many different facets of the Saint Laurent attitude' through the medium of film.
Iconic arthouse actress Charlotte Rampling stars as the matriarch of SUMMER OF ‘21 in a maxi floral dress with a black feathered ruff, first appearing backstage admiring her reflection in the mirror and later dancing on stage in a plush theatre on a bed of autumnal leaves.
The film is entirely dialogue-free, soundtracked instead by SebastiAn's reimagining of Donna Summer’s 1977 disco anthem 'I Feel Love.' An ensemble cast of models including Anok Yai and Mica Arganaraz amble through red velvet parlours and grand stairwells, finally ending up in the audience for Rampling's climactic performance.