Loulou photographed by Clive Arrowsmith, Paris, 1971
Her style still resonates, maybe even more so today. LOULOU
Perhaps rather it's her face that carried the clothes—granted the clothes she wore were flawless. It was Saint Laurent but somehow Loulou made them her own. I guess that's what "Muse" is all about. Undefinable, she must have been a sort of unicorn to the designer.
A new book, Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent, by Christopher Petkanas traces the "birth of LOULOU" as Saint Laurent muse and designer.
Knowing my interest in her, the author has given me a snippet from the over 500-page book! "For thirty years, until his retirement in 2002, Yves relied on Loulou to inspire him with the tilt of her hat, make him laugh and talk him off the ledge—the enchanted formula that brought him from one historic collection to the next. “Her presence at my side is a dream..."
The received version of Loulou's (exactly) thirty years at Saint Laurent, 1972 until he retired in 2002, is that throughout the entire time she was thrilled to be there, never wanted anything more than to be his right hand. Not true. In 1973, after just thirteen months full-time at YSL, she was morose, she wanted out, for someone to physically carry her off. Crying, muttering "I know I'm good for nothing," she was in a very fragile emotional state--her friends feared she'd gone truly crazy. According to Balthus's son Thadée Klossowski, who she would marry in 1977 in "the wedding of the decade" (hosted by Yves and Pierre), Loulou at this time was scratching herself like an addict. She said she'd had enough of fashion people, that she wasn't paid enough (!), that she was worth more. Nothing came of Loulou’s threat to quit Saint Laurent, but it would not be the last time she wanted to escape what sometimes felt like a prison... (from the author of LOULOU & YVES, Christopher Petkanas)
The book debuts April 17th, and in the meantime, if you traverse Instagram, the author and book are here, @loulou.yves.book