Tuesday, February 22, 2011

yves saint laurent: can you knit?

In an iconic image, French designer Yves. St. Laurent is flanked by his two muses, Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise outside his London boutique, 1969. Directed by David Teboul, Yves St. Laurent: His Life and Times includes an interview with style icon, the glamorous and amusing Loulou de la Falaise, photo below. see: http://movies.netflix.com/WiPlayer?movieid=60034519&trkid=1999134


Discussing her multidimensional relationship including muse with St. Laurent she describes their trip to Moscow in the mid 1980's, when Gorbachev was still in office. there was a press conference at which Russian women asked him how to dress. Falaise, St. Laurent, et al thought they had come to advise Mrs. Gorbachev. Given their limited resources and clothes in Russia, women asked how they could dress. "My advise is this, when your husband buys a camel coat, you try it on too. Can you knit? Then knit a black turtleneck, knit yourself a skirt, and so on. You have wonderful traditional clothes. The Russian blouse is marvellous, so wear that. Take your belts and you can hammer nails in for decoration." Falaise thought St. Laurent's DIY ethic wonderfully original.



Claire Coleman, journalist for the Daily Mail in the UK, Ooh La la! Designer loulou de la falaise's parisian home oozes Parisian bohemian style, details Falaise's interior design style, including baskets of bangles scattered around her Parisian apartment, above. see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1003862/Ooh-La-la-Designer-loulou-la-falaises-parisian-home-oozes-bohemian-style.html.
The black turtleneck continues to be a classic, as Claire Waight Keller proves in her fall 2010 RTW collection, below.


A photo from this same period in the film shows St. Laurent wearing a hand crocheted granny square vest with a geometric circle in the middle over a floral shirt. St. Laurent's advice is as pertinent now as it was then.

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