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Industry out in force for Saint Laurent funeral

Designers, celebrities and politicians bid farewell to one of fashion's greats yesterday at the funeral of legendary French designer Yves Saint Laurent.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, who modelled for Saint Laurent in the 1990s, attended the service yesterday afternoon at the Eglise Saint-Roch in Paris.

Saint Laurent's long-time partner Pierre Berge paid a moving tribute to the designer. He said: "For 50 years our paths never separated. Leaving you, Yves, I shall tell you of my admiration, my deep respect and my love."

Berge was joined by Saint Laurent's mother, Lucienne Saint Laurent.

Catherine Deneuve, the actress and a former muse of Saint Laurent, read a Walt Whitman poem at the Mass, which was relayed to the crowds outside via a giant screen.

Other guests included Kenzo Takada, Valentino, Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Lacroix, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and Sonia Rykiel.

Saint Laurent, who died of a brain tumour on Sunday, will have his ashes spread in a botanical garden close to the villa in Marrakech, Morocco, where he spent much of his time.

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