She was a model, a muse, and a designer of both clothing and jewelry. In many ways, Loulou de la Falaise was a fashion-industry renaissance woman, and it saddens us deeply to report that she has passed away.
Women’s Wear Daily broke news of her death Saturday morning, reporting that she had succumbed to an unspecified “long illness” at the age of 63. But whatever caused her death, De la Falaise’s life will be remembered for being filled with vibrant color and an almost genetic love for fashion. Her mother Maxime had been a model for Elsa Schiaparelli and occasionally designed her own clothing. Loulou would end up doing the same.
One of her first jobs in fashion was being Yves Saint Laurent‘s muse — and a good muse, she was. It’s believed she inspired Saint Laurent’s famous le smoking, a tuxedo for women that led to everything from menswear details being used in women’s clothing to today’s pantsuits. At the time, it was a revolutionary innovation in fashion, and part of what cemented YSL as an important fashion house. De la Falaise stayed there for decades, designing jewelry until Saint Laurent died.
After his death, she opened her own jewelry business and started a boutique in Paris called the Maison du Loulou. Whether or not it will continue in her absence remains to be seen, but we hope it’ll stay open in tribute to her memory and her style.