Berge's speech was a testament of his love for Saint Laurent. "How beautiful and eager was the Paris morning on which we met," he began, his voice cracking with emotion. He ended with this: "As I leave you, Yves, I want to tell you my admiration, my profound respect and my love."
I saw Berge the day before the funeral mass. He was listening to the recording of Maria Callas singing "Casta Diva," one of Saint Laurent's fetish songs, which would be played during the ceremony. I could see he hadn't slept and that he was completely decimated by Saint Laurent's passing, which moved me considerably. I embraced him. Neither of us said a word.
I had interviewed Saint Laurent several times. What struck me most, even when it became evident that his health was failing, was his presence of mind. His manner of expression was always incisive, never glib. Yet it was also clear that he no longer belonged to this world, a world in which fashion has become more interested in feeding the media frenzy than in the perfect construction of a dress. Saint Laurent's era ended long before he retired in 2002, a fact he realized all too well and for which he told me he suffered. But what Saint Laurent gave to fashion - his inimitable style, his chic, his deep love and respect for women - will be remembered for a long time to come.