PHILIPPE HEURTAULT

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - GUEST LIST -

Who was Jac­ques de Bascher, the dandy whom the two biopics about Yves Saint Lau­rent por­tray as a de­mon of temp­ta­tion and a drug ad­dict who en­cour­aged the de­signer’s worst self–de­struc­tive ten­den­cies? Philippe Heurtault knew him well and was his pho­to­graphic as­sis­tant and friend dur­ing the good years. They met as young sailors on the navy ship, L’Orage, on its way from Brest to Tahiti. De Bascher was dif­fer­ent even then: he hosted a ra­dio pro­gramme on board, liked to be provoca­tive, and was openly ho­mo­sex­ual. He ended up in prison for some tri­fling prank and was sent back to Paris. When Heurtault landed in the cap­i­tal, he met up with his un­ruly friend, who in the mean­time had be­come a close to Karl Lager­feld. “When Jac­ques is de­scribed as the man who brought Yves Saint Lau­rent down, there is ab­so­lutely no truth in it. Jac­ques could be sui­ci­dal, mor­bid. Ad­mit­tedly, he was hooked on co­caine, but above all I re­mem­ber a gen­tle­man who liked help­ing peo­ple and who had a sense of hu­mour all his own. He lived in lux­ury, but at the same time, he didn’t own any­thing,” re­calls Philippe Heurtault, who now lives in Brittany and Bali. Ali­cia Drake in­ter­viewed him about his book Beau­ti­ful Peo­ple, which, he feels re­flects de Bascher’s per­son­al­ity most faith­fully. He has put his many pho­tos — some 800 — of the wild par­ties in the 70s and 80s on­line, free of charge, on his web­site:

philippe­heur­tault.fr.

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