Renaissance woman and famous inspiration for designer Yves St Laurent's iconic women's tuxedo Loulou de la Falaise has died at age 63 after a battle with a "long illness," Women's Wear Daily reported this morning.
Born in Britain, Louise Vava Lucia Henriette de la Falaise was the daughter of an Irish mother, Maxime Birley, who was an occasional model for Elsa Schiaparelli, and a French father, Alain de la Falaise.
De la Falaise met YSL in 1968, and she soon joined his house, designing jewelry and clothing. She reportedly served as the muse for the designer's Le Tuxedo, a groundbreaking tuxedo made for women that pioneered a new look in menswear.
Famous for the brightly colored jewelry and brooches she crafted for the YSL fashion house, de la Falaise was also known for her own sophistication. A profile on de la Falaise in Vogue Italia last year described her personal style:
She sticks to her trademark style, and adapts it to the occasion. She wears pants most of the time - made of velvet, shantung or silk - and pairs them to satin tops in bright colors, chiffon blouses, simple black sweaters, printed or brocade jackets. She likes experimenting with different patterns, wearing, for example, striped pants and a Madras blazer with a classic white shirt.
After Saint Laurent retired in 2002, she launched her own signature label, recently concentrated on costume jewelry, and also collaborated with New York-based designer Oscar de la Renta.
De la Falaise is survived by her husband, Thadée Klossowski de Rola, a French writer, and their daughter, Anna, also a model. Anna's godfather is Yves Saint Laurent.