I watched several good films while flying across the pond recently, both of which got me thinking about advertising and image make-overs. The first, L’Amour Fou (Crazy Love) is an excellent documentary about the late, great fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Go see it if you get a chance. The movie is a mesmerizing look at both Saint Laurent himself and the world of high fashion, and it has English subtitles. I wept when Saint Laurent announced his retirement with words evoking his favorite author, Marcel Proust. That speech alone is worth seeing the film, but there are also glamourous supermodels and glimpses of the jet set of the nineteen sixties.
I laughed when Saint Laurent said that his greatest achievement was putting women in pantsuits, but of course, he’s no oil exec, he’s a fashion designer and pantsuits for women caught the spirit of the women’s liberation movement, so it was entirely appropriate that he said so.
Yves Saint Laurent had his own fashion house, despite being painfully shy and suffering intense bouts of depression throughout his life. He and his business partner and lover Pierre Bergé created and marketed the YSL brand.
Morgan Spurlock, the director of The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, a documentary about product placement, marketing and advertising, is the antithesis of YSL; he’s more of an everyman, more Walmart than haute couture. In one scene in the movie, he goes to Pittsburgh, or someplace like that, to consult with a product placement firm, and the person he interviews helps him to determine how to place himself as a product. She decided after interviewing him that he was playful and mindful.
Seeing both these documentaries naturally got me thinking about Chris. I’m getting to old to be repositioned in any case. I’ve been into just maintenance for the past ten years and I can see years of intensified maintenance work ahead. Chris seems keen for product positioning. It’s a good time for a launch. He’s 27 going on 28, the age of his first Saturn return. His learning that he’s numerologically a number 3, has helped him focus on his creativity as an eventual career direction. He wears hats well. Hey – we can work with this. Musicians look good in hats, so do chefs. As part of his repositioning strategy, he’s now determined to lose weight. Chris has put on a noticeable number of pounds over the past few months which coincided with his newfound joy in cooking. His lifelong dormant tastebuds have kicked into gear, and he’s making up for it with a vengeance. A fun idea, to think of what brand he would like to be, may help him gain more confidence in the spin he would like to put on his life.
Chris has come a long way, but still doesn’t have a highly developed sense of self. It’s starting slowly, and has been helped by many things such as Tomatis, sound therapy, psychotherapy, the Alexander Technique, and other things discussed in this blog. He told me today that he doesn’t feel ready to take on big challenges, he’s talking about further education, so it looks like nothing big is going to happen next year. It’s so nice to hear Chris being able to express this thought. As a teenager he kept everything close to his chest. If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. Sigh. In the meantime he’s auditioning for a role in the Christmas pantomime, Jack and the Beanstock. Now that’s progress!