Charting Chic: Loulou de la Falaise

An Influential Fashion Muse in the Serious World of Parisian Haute Couture

Loulou de la Falaise
As a style icon that worked with and inspired Yves Saint Laurent, the most influential designer of the 20th century, Loulou de la Falaise was renowned for her gracefully bohemian sense of style. Paris-based fashion consultant Ariel de Ravenel, and author of Sam Spiegel, Tino Zervudachi: A Portfolio, and Dior Glamour Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, are the co-authors of the eponymous book, which offers a glimpse into Loulou’s extraordinary life.

Before her death in November 2011, Loulou’s epic career saw her modelling briefly for Vogue, working alongside Yves Saint Laurent, and being a designer in her own right: creating extraordinary jewellery and accessories, both for Yves Saint Laurent as well as for her own collection. All of which is demonstrated in this comprehensive collection of a life, in over 400 photographs. Ariel and Natasha told us more about charting the life of a fashion icon:

The Plus: Ariel, you run Loulou de la Falaise’s brand, but what inspired you to make this book now?
Ariel de Ravenel:
I wanted to capture Loulou’s extraordinary talent, taste and originality of spirit and a monograph was the best way to achieve this.
Since I was determined to find original and unseen images, it took about 18 months to research all the photographs. Then I worked with Alexander Wolkoff, one of Paris’s top artistic designers.

TP: What were you surprised to learn about Loulou through the research?
Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni:
I was amazed by how Loulou – a poetic soul – gave on so many different levels when she was at the house of Saint Laurent and how encouraging she was to people starting out in fashion. Loulou was an authentic person who had a tremendous respect for the creative.

TP: How has Loulou de la Falaise inspired you?
I styled Loulou’s first-ever French Vogue shoot and was immediately impressed by her effortless mix of imagination and elegance.
NFC: I was inspired by Loulou’s bold mix of colours and poetic way with jewels that came alive, once worn.

TP: Do you have a favourite image from the book?
I love Ariel’s choice of cover, taken by Michael Roberts. It implies how mysterious and magical Loulou was.

LOULOU DE LA FALAISE edited by Ariel de Ravenel and written by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, Rizzoli New York, 2014 will be out tomorrow.