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Loulou De La Falaise: A True Saint Laurent Woman

Loulou De La Falaise: A True Saint Laurent Woman
By Bernie Rothschild

This morning fashion icon Loulou de la Falaise is dead which is very sad news to all of us, Loulou was a devoted friend and muse to Yves Saint Laurent. She inspired many of his collections which is very scandalous but artistic at the same time. As she tells their story, “I met Yves through mutual friends. We had lots of fun together, and he must have liked what I did with clothes because one day he asked me to work with him." Loulou was also a noted jewelry designer and the head of accessories for the Rive Gauche line. She was the antithesis of her fellow YSL muse and close friend Betty Catroux. The two women embodied and influenced the French fashion of their time. The très risque androgynous hedonist style of the trousers wearer, Ms. Catroux, is the exact opposite of the elegant, chic, and glamorous Ms. de la Falaise. But for many that are still wondering who this fabulous woman really is, here is the story for you. Loulou was born in England to socialite Maxime Birley who was an Elsa Schiaparelli model and a noted fashionista of her time. According to Cecil Beaton, Ms. Birley was the only English woman who had a great fashion sense that he knew and her father was the aristocrat Alain de la Falaise. She was related to many known artists of the 19th century, no wonder artistic lineage is born into family. During the early 70s, she was discovered by the legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland as a model at which point she moved to New York City and became part of the in crowd, epitomizing the fashionable chic woman of the 1970s, together with her great friends the Berenson sisters, the divine Marisa Berenson and her former roommate the late Berry Berenson, Paloma Picasso, Marina Schiano, Elsa Peretti, Bianca Jagger, and Diane Von Furstenberg, that astonished the crowd with their effortless chic and unique style. Who would forget her special custom made YSL dress at the Opium launch party and her Oriental wedding theme for which Saint Laurent created her Aladdin inspired wedding dress. The life of Ms. de la Falaise is a great inspiration to all of us. She proved that everyone could be a muse in their own way. Rest in peace, Loulou. Thanks for the legacy that you left us.

Loulou de la Falaise photographs courtesy of Condé Nast, Sugar Inc., zero1magazine.com, puretrend.com

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Reader Comments (12)

Loulou and Betty is like Carine and Emmanulle Alt of our time! I love her. Im so sad right now she is one the last original true guards of the golden age of fashion..Nobody would ever be Loulou De la Falaise in fashion again..such a passionate woman
5 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
Very well done, Bernie.
5 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLee
Merci Madam
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
Nicely done.

And if you close your eyes, you can see she and all her great friends laughing and dancing at Le Bain Douche or Studio 54.

Style and lifestyle so integrated and elegant.

Betty was spare, minimal and LouLou clinked with armloads of her bracelets and a smile.
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commentermadeleine gallay
What a beautiful tribute. Thank you, Bernie.
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate
i was a big fan and thought she was older. Her friend Berry Berenson died at age 52
on the AA fl 11 that crashed into the trade center. Berry had been married to Anthony Perkins,
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commentercigalechanta (mimi)
@ Madelaine I know i loved the 70's era and its very much like the 20s when it comes to turban.and bias cut dresses..youve forget the regines in Paris and the Rothschild Ball! She is one chic woman her style contrast to Betty C. Was more feminine which reminds me of the saying opposite attracts
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
@ kate thanks girl hope you loved it

@mimi Ms Berry Berenson was a very nice person based on the story that Ive read about her..She and her sister the ever fabolous Marisa Berenson is the icon of the 70s social scene.Do you know that Diana Vreeland nicknamed them Berenthia and Maurenthia ..Its just too sad because she and her husband died in a very tragic way...which reminds me of the saying Bad thing sometimes happen to good people
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
Colin Firth looks like Yves Saint Laurent which is very relevant because Tom Ford directed him in A single man and they are close friends and remember Tom Ford revamp the house.of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
6 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
thank you for sharing this article, bernie! loulou was so stylish and so ahead of her time. fabulous homage to such an amazing stye icon! r.i.p.
7 novembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdara block
so sad indeed. here goes another fabulous person....
and we are left behind with the Blasbergs, Santo Domingos, Palermos, etc....tragic.
8 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMalou
I remember being a young girl living in a small-ish town and going to the one drug store that carried Vogue; back then it was still over-sized and filled with the brilliance of Avedon, Penn, Newton and Bourdin. My sisters and I would pour over those magazines; inhaling with our entire beings the high glamour of the world Loulou and her restless band of scene-makers created and inhabited. When she married Thadee in that magnificent YSL white suit and jeweled turban I was mesmerized; I had never seen anything so current and yet so mystically nostalgic. Not a classically beautiful woman so much as she was pixie-dust; a stylist before the concept even existed. She, Betty and Catherine WERE YSL to me; aspirations to try to be a little different, to be whimsical, to be classic and finally, to be myself. Take care, Madame--you are missed.
14 novembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSMM

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