“‘She was a little hippie girl, she was very pretty and very everything'”
– Thadee Klossowski, husband of Loulou de la Falaise
Loulou de la Falaise lived a life many little girls dream of; she played muse to of one of the world’s most influential designers, she was a staple of the high-glitz, endless-glam nightlife of 1970’s Paris and she was immersed in the luxury & opulence of couture fashion for all of her life.
Her mother Maxime designed for Chloe, wrote for Vogue and acted in one of Andy Warhol’s films; Loulou came to age in the fashion world. It is even rumored that Maxime baptized her infant daughter with Schiaparelli’s perfume “Shocking” in lieu of holy water. Vogue did a fantastic profile on Maxime after her death in 2009 and it is clear that she passed her rambunctious personality and bold style on to her daughter.
Loulou ventured to Paris in her early twenties and instantly fell in with the Saint-Laurent crowd, a group who personified the magic, extravagance and exuberant hedonism of the times. Yves fell head over heels for this outspoken young waif and welcomed her to his inner circle. He drew great inspiration from her cutting edge, adventurous style. She is even said to be responsible for inspiring Saint-Laurent’s most iconic piece: Le Smoking, the revolutionary tuxedo that changed women’s wear forever. In a time when women rarely wore pants, Loulou was as comfortable in a brocade trouser as she was in a custom YSL ball gown.
Trips to Marrakech, unfettered access to the house of Saint-Laurent, closets filled with the finest clothes in all the world…Loulou was granted all of this as her whirlwind relationship with Yves grew to her becoming his life long muse. In 1972 she began designing accessories for YSL. She was far more than a glamorous influence for Yves; she worked side by side in collaboration with Saint-Laurent until his death. Author Alicia Drake describes a young Loulou in her YSL biography The Beautiful Fall:
“That afternoon in July 1968 there was a young girl floating around the apartment, giggling madly behind a dandelion puff of hair…She was filled with a sort of electric vitality. She was stoned and ravishing in Ossie Clark chiffon tunic and matching satin fly-away trousers, headscarf around her head and beads around her neck…there was a fantasy and colour and daring to her style that was truly original.”
Never one to follow the status-quo, she even commissioned Yves to design her a white harem outfit complete with a feathered and bejeweled turban for her wedding to Thadee. Loulou’s style was nothing if not unconventional.
Loulou lived a fantastic life and wore many hats (er…turbans) throughout it – muse, designer, wife, mother, style icon – and she projected this fantastical energy into everything she did. Although her death this past Saturday marks the loss of a true renaissance woman, the memory of her effortless sophistication, eclectic sartorial choices and frenetic presence will live on.
Loulou’s legacy will continue to remind us all that sometimes fantasy can become reality.
//excerpts from The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris by Alicia Drake
//click images for source