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AT HOME WITH YVES: In spring 1968, before the stirrings of student revolt, a power shift of another kind took place in the French fashion world. On “Dim Dam Dom,” a Sunday night TV show targeting French women, Coco Chanel named Yves Saint Laurent as her successor, while simultaneously accusing him of copying her. Saint Laurent’s shy but categorical riposte, on the following month’s show and since stored in the National Audiovisual Institute’s archives, is set to get another airing via DVD release, along with “Tout Terriblement,” a documentary about Saint Laurent screened by Arte Editions in 1994. “First of all, I’m very flattered that Mademoiselle Chanel deigned to take an interest in what I’m doing and that she designated me her successor,” he told “Dim Dam Dom.” “But I am not at all in agreement when she says I copy her.” If he copied her, Saint Laurent declared, he wouldn’t be successful: “I think also the big difference between me and Mademoiselle Chanel is that I try to bring women a style that allows them to adapt their style to my dresses and allows them to develop their personalities. While a woman who wears Chanel resembles Mademoiselle Chanel.” Equally enthralling, the accompanying 48-minute film by documentary maker Jérôme de Missolz, narrated by the late Saint Laurent and Jeanne Moreau, promises a frank portrait of the designer recounting the ups — “I love glory. Glory is a feast” — and downs: “Pierre Bergé is surely right when he claims I was born with a nervous breakdown.” Had Saint Laurent ever married, he would have married Victoire, he declared of the model and muse. And his one regret? “Not to have invented the jean.” The DVD, which will be released in November, comes with an endorsement from Saint Laurent himself. “You have, with a rare sensitivity, captured and understood everything I have tried to express for many years,” he wrote to de Missolz when he first saw the film.
— Ellen Groves