In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise


In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise

Loulou de la Falaise shot in a subway station / Photo by Peter Lindbergh

I still remember the first time I saw a photo of Loulou de la Falaise. It was at the Musée Galliera, and I was immediately drawn to her clothes, the styling, l’allure. I knew instantly that she was not just another model. She was the epitome of chic, elegance, grace and style:

Loulou de la Falaise "was the true descendant of a line of formidably stylish women—her great-grandmother was Vavarina Pike, who ignited County Wexford in ivory fedoras and beige cardigans acquired at the gentlemen’s departments of the London stores. Loulou’s grandmother Lady Rhoda Birley, married to the distinguished portrait painter Sir Oswald Birley, was a flamboyant Irish beauty famed for her gardens and patronage of the arts. Her mother, Maxime de La Falaise, was a heart-stopping beauty herself whose flair for fashion led her to work as a vendeuse and muse chez Elsa Schiaparelli and Paquin, and later to design for Emilio Pucci and others. Maxime married the French aristocrat Count Alain Le Bailly de La Falaise in 1946 and proceeded to take postwar Paris by storm with her handsome, Titian-haired looks and sartorial flair. Cecil Beaton considered her the only truly chic Englishwoman of her day." (Vogue)

She was a Parisian icon for more than 40 years, as well as Saint Laurent’s trusted muse and a designer:

“When she arrived at about 9 a.m. every day to the YSL couture studios on Paris’s Right Bank, it was an event. The pants, jackets, skirts, blouses, dresses, stockings, shoes, shawls, bags and jewelry that she assembled and donned each morning in her 14th Arrondissement apartment were unlike anything anyone else in Paris wore, or had ever seen." (The New York Times Style Magazine)

It is fantastic to work beside Yves,” de La Falaise told Vogue after 20 years of collaboration, “We both believe fantasy is such a vital element of fashion. We tend to think of ourselves as gypsies who have just returned with a marvelous caravan of incredible finds from the exotic reaches of the earth. But we have to make the caravan ourselves. Our Orient is our imagination.”

The fashion icon had an instinct for style in all things—in the environments and gardens that she created for her family as well as in her own jewellery and fashion designs. Here are a few photos that show a little of her world ...

In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise

Photograph from the LouLou de la Falaise book, published by Rizzoli NY Editions

In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise

Loulou de la Falaise's Paris apartment


In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise

With Yves Saint Laurent / Photo by Guy Marineau

In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise

Loulou de la Falaise's Paris apartment via tumblr

In Fashion | Style Icon: Loulou de la Falaise

Loulou de la Falaise's Paris apartment

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Dana is a fragile dreamer, they say, arriving in Paris four years ago, for love, and the city has been constantly changing her life since then. Hers is a world of books, (Marguerite Duras, Simone de Beauvoir, Anne Berest), expos, long walks sur les quais de Seine, pink skies, fine wine and peonies.

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