This special multi-media event will celebrate the publication of Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent by featured guest Christopher Petkanas. Petkanas is an American author and journalist who has written for The New York Times, Vogue, and Architectural Digest. As part of this event, curators from the MFA’s Department of Textile and Fashion Arts will bring out a selection of the Museum’s Yves Saint Laurent collection, along with fashion illustrations by Kenneth Paul Block, a close friend of Petkanas.
Loulou de La Falaise (1947-2011) was one of the most important women in the history of twentieth-century fashion, a brilliant iconoclast descending in a direct line from Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. In 1968, Loulou’s Bohemian spirit, coupled with her fearless sense of style, caught the attention of Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008)―the most influential designer of his time. For thirty years, until his retirement in 2002, Loulou de La Falaise was Yves Saint Laurent’s right hand, muse, chief confidante, and the Merlin behind all those extravagant accessories―clanking bronze cuffs, towering fur toques, necklaces with stones the size of boulders―that became a crucial element of the YSL “look.” Saint Laurent, a famously troubled genius, relied on Loulou to inspire him, make him laugh, talk him off the ledge―and get him to the next groundbreaking collection. In Loulou & Yves, Christopher Petkanas traces Loulou de La Falaise’s life chronologically through the memories of more than two hundred “voices”: husbands, lovers, extended family, friends, enemies, slightly less bitter detractors, colleagues, groupies, Yves pundits, hangers-on, and Loulou herself.