The art of living life as a muse.
Loulou de la Falaise, with her international pedigree, epitomised the archetype of the Parisian lady. I loved her elegance, her imaginativeness, her brilliant creativity and her incorrigible non-conformity. She also had the great good fortune to work with Yves Saint Laurent.
This interview was presented in Vogue Paris in 1986:-
Loulou (Louise de La Falaise Klossowski de Rola) is a stylish and energetic woman, reminiscent of an Irish Setter or a pure-blood racehorse. She is a celebrity, a goddess of inspiration, who lives the life of an adventuress, a life in which she is adroitly able to unite the present with the past. To her intimate confidants she is the most faithful friend imaginable. Having followed several different paths, including marriage at an early age to an Irish lord succeeded by some bohemian years as a New Yorker in the world of Pop Art and Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent invited her to come and work with him. So this is why Loulou has made Paris her city of choice.
As is well-known among those who know, a somewhat tribal atmosphere prevails at the Maison Saint Laurent, so it can hardly be considered surprising that Anna, Loulou’s one year old daughter who is the goddaughter of Yves, along with Thaddée, her husband, an author and a refined man of sophisticated accomplishments, play a singular role among the enchantments of the hotel particulier on the Avenue Marceau. Every evening Thaddée arrives to fetch Loulou in the company of Anna, the one and only baby who is admitted to the salon and who crawls around on all fours in the inner sanctum of the master. And indeed the latter, being very Catholic, has made her a gift of his glittering antique crucifixes and these have become her playthings.
Loulou’s apartment is on the Rue des Plantes in the Fourteenth arondissement. It is exceptionally capacious; two enormous rooms (similar to artists’ studios), decked out with mezzanines, intercommunicate. The first is the domain of Anna, the second of Loulou and Thaddée, who proclaim that the entire decoration of their apartment is altogether the effect of chance. Every object seems to be somehow suspended in grandeur; one’s first impression is that it all looks like the temporary staging for a touring festival, but then somehow the provisional concludes by becoming definitive. White curtains evoke billowing clouds, an azure blue carpet captures the sky, the lime greens (Loulou’s grandmother was Russian) recall leafy trees in woods, and an immense bed, a gift from her mother Maxime de la Falaise, is out on patrol as a sofa in the living room, sailing like a boat in the middle of the sea; a batik reinforces this impression.
The first activity that Loulou undertakes on her return home in the evenings is a change of clothes, and she slips effortlessly into one of the opulent dressing gowns that her forever-friend Fernando Sanchez designs for her. The earlier part of her evenings she passes out and about in nightclubs: later on she can be found with her familiars in their homes. The Klossowskis allocate their weekends to Sens, 120 kilometers from Paris, where they have taken a property with their close friends Leonello and Maria Brandolini; the Brandolinis also have a daughter, Xenia, who is the same age as Anna. Customarily their autumn holidays, and additionally their Easter and summer breaks, are enjoyed at Montecalvello, a vast chateau located in the province of Viterbo which the painter Balthus, the father of Thaddée, acquired at the time when he was the Director of the Académie de France in Rome.
By any standards therefore, Anna has an exceptional mother, but Loulou does not seem to think that her life is in any way out of the ordinary: “This is how my family are: the women have always played a hugely significant role. I am thinking of my mother, who now lives in New York, and of my grandmother, a ravishing woman of exceptional elegance: both have always treated life as an odyssey, always living freely, as if by magic, as if they were gypsies; and with a superb taste for enjoying themselves and for light-heartedness, and all without ever losing their sensibility for the truly important values in life.”
Vogue Paris, 1986