Yves Saint Laurent's recent death marked the end of an era in fashion, as one of the last grand couturiers he ushered in pret-a-porter and outraged the Establishment with his sexy, emancipated designs.

His business partner and former lover Pierre Bergé is now auctioning off Saint Laurent's art collection (shown in the video above) in a three-day sale at the Grand Palais in Paris. Saint Laurent always had a fragile personality and being surrounded by beautiful objects helped inspire him for his collections. The pair collected works by Brancusi, Matisse and Mondrian, who famously inspired the YSL colour block dress.

In an interview with the Tribune Bergé comes across as a thoughtful and passionate art collector "We would have liked to have Barnett Newman, Bacon and perhaps Pollock. But we were not didactic. We wanted objects that talk to each other. And we did our collection with a lot of passion, but with certitude."

So it is rather surprising that the collection is being auctioned off but it all has a happy ending because funds from the auction will go to help fund scientific research into the fight against AIDS. Between €200 and €300 million is expected to be raised from the sale which will immediately be focussed on Africa.