Fashion designer and muse, Loulou de la Falaise was the embodiment of the Rive Gauche haute bohémienne. As the daughter of Maxime Birley (a former model for Schiaparelli) and French Count Alain de la Falaise, it was her birthright as well as style to mix French chic with the spark of Anglo-Irish capriciousness. She had je ne sais quoi to burn.
Loulou met Yves Saint Laurent at a party in 1968, and she quickly became his muse and soulmate. She did more than just inspire, designing successful jewelry and hats for his couture and ready-to-wear lines. After the retirement of Saint Laurent, Loulou started her own fashion label. She designed jewelry until her death in 2011.
Dressing to work at the YSL couture studios was a great art for Loulou. As Marian McEvoy wrote for the New York Times “Whether she was channeling an 18th-century Indian princess, a pre-Soviet Russian peasant or a 20th-century East Village flower child, her getups went beyond costume. They looked fresh, contemporary. [She dressed to] delight herself, surprise her friends and, most crucially, impress Yves.”
What was Loulou’s rare taste inspired by? According to her, “Anything…whether it’s a journey or a crack in a wall.” She liked to swath herself in bright, multihued fabrics and colors, well-cut tweeds, classics like trench coats, safari jackets and white shirts, chic hats, head wraps, shawls, folk wear, and above all, statement-making jewelry. Her style was feminine, but she frequently wore pantsuits, and is credited with inspiring Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking.View the Parade Now