Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Loulou de la Falaise

Loulou de la Falaise

Last weekend, Louise Vava Lucia Henriette Le Bailly de la Falaise, died at her home in Normandy at the age of 63 after what the French press said was "a long illness."

Adjectives and superlatives abound when one tries to describe her extraordinary life in the very, very fast lane of fashion, fun and excess. She was, and always will be, an original. She was a wild child, a bright spirit, and an exceptionally creative woman.

Yves Saint Laurent with his "muse" Loulou de la Falaise.

It was her collaboration with Yves Saint Laurent from 1972 until his retirement in 2002 where the world was first exposed to her extravagantly artistic talent, not only in her jewelry that accessorized the designer's collections, but also her behind-the-scenes influence on his work and her calm, witty personality that soothed his mercurial, often melancholy moods. He called her his "little miracle."

Loulou de la Falaise and Thadee Klossowski de Rola (youngest son of the the painter Balthus) at their 1977 wedding hosted by Yves Saint Laurent

She was a sparkling cocktail of English/Irish/French aristocracy and bohemian eccentricity. Her grandmother and mother, both lively, often scandalous beauties, set the tone which completely complimented her break-the-rules personality.


For an original like Loulou de la Falaise whom I once briefly met and often saw out and about in Paris, it seems to me her work and photographs of her unique sartorial splendor speak far more eloquently than any words I could conjure up to capture her esprit.








Loulou de la Falaise was indeed an idiosyncratic style icon of unparalleled daring and dash, a true original in every sense of the word.

Please click over to visit Dash at her divine blog, The French Sampler , for more on Loulou de la Falaise.

Tomorrow: More pictures and stories of you in our Faces Through the Ages series. Please continue to send your pictures (tishjett@yahoo.com).

20 comments:

déjà pseu said...

I always admired her exuberant style, and the full-on embrace of life it seemed to convey. When I was a teenager in the 70's, she seemed to me the epitome of glamour.

kathy peck said...

Amazing style. There was a very small shop in NYC about 10 years ago, that was upstairs in a building and run by a friend. I believe appointment only? Tiny clothing and over the top accessories. I actually loved her interior design more than her fashion, but I so admired her zest, originality, and confidence.

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

A fitting tribute to a "grande dame" of fashion. Loved her fun, spirited, colorful style. Well done, Tish. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

What an inspiration...I love the pictures you selected for this tribute to her.

LuxeBytes said...

Very shocked by this news over the weekend, as I had not heard she was so gravely ill. I leaned so much about her and Yves Saint Laurent in "A Beautiful Fall" by Alicia Drake. Fascinating lives. I have a Loulou necklace that I really wish I would've worn today, come to think of it ....

xoxoxo --
M.

JMW said...

I am loving that top photo - the jewelry, the jacket. Wonderful!

Dash said...

Dearest Tish, I love the way you have written this piece, you have summed Loulou up perfectly. Loulou was a fabulous original she will be missed.

Thank you so much for the link, coming from you tis an honour indeed.
XXX

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

She radiated style.

Susan Tiner said...

I recently read about her in "The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris" by Alicia Drake. A fascinating woman.

I love the photos and thank you for writing a beautiful tribute.

Linda McMullan said...

I am always amazed at the fabulous variety of humans on this earth, and dismayed that there are so many I will never be able to know.

Thank you, Tish, for this tribute to another sparkling human.

BigLittleWolf said...

What has always stood out for me - about her - is the freedom to be herself.

This is what I retain and aspire to - not only in fashion and style, but all ways that matter.

That's Not My Age said...

I love the way she used to effortlessly throw things together. An inspiration to Yves Saint Laurent - and to us all.

Splenderosa said...

How could she leave us so soon. I've been sad, not because I lost a personal friend, but because we all lost a woman with zestfulness, verve, elan, and such style she cannot be replaced. OMG, it's so hard growing old & losing people you seem to have known all your life. Love you dear, Tish....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Very sad to hear of her passing and 63 is so young. She was obviously a vibrant beautiful woman and such a free spirit. Have seen pictures of her studio apartment which looked wonderful, including a magnificent chandelier, said to be a wedding gift from YSL.

I am so pleased to discover she designed the ring my husband bought for my bithday last year in Paris (knew it was YSL - but not that she designed it), the same ring you showed - only mine has dark blue stones not red. I also love the necklaces and the earrings in your post. She was so talented! What a sad loss!

quintessence said...

Always so sad to lose such a singular style icon! She was truly inspiring. And oh that last necklace!!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Colourful characters are enchanting, despite their idiosyncratic tendencies.
Warm wishes.

helen tilston said...

Hello Tish

A beautiful tribute. She made a big impact to this world and used her talents to the fullest.

May she rest in peace.

Helenxx

Catherine said...

I hadn't heard about this yet! I thought she was marvelous and her relationship with YSL artistic perfection. So sad and still so young.

Lost in Provence said...

The epitome of joie de vivre. Her influence is not to be underestimated and will last. What a beautiful woman she was. Thank you for this.

fletchers said...

Stunning woman. I love how she wore her hair in her 50's + 60's - longer and looser. There are so few women whom we could genuinely call "muses" these days in the way she was.

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