Tag Archives: Loulou de la Falaise

HALSTON

Nearly thirty years after his death, Halston—the master of American minimalism and fashion’s greatest cautionary tale—has finally received a documentary worthy of his contributions. Unlike the designs of its subject, the film is somewhat padded with yards of unnecessary material. But this should not deter its intended audience from enjoying the ensemble.

Directed by Frédéric Tcheng—the filmmaker behind documentaries about Raf Simons (Dior and I) and Diana Vreeland (The Eye Has to Travel)—HALSTON hits an early peak when, one after another, his core house models—dismissively labeled “Halstonettes” by Loulou de la Falaise—testify to the talent of the man who could throw a bolt of fabric onto the showroom floor and, within minutes, create the basis of a couture gown:

“[Wearing a Halston dress imparted] elegance and ease. A sense of owning power without being masculine. And honoring the body you have.” — Alva Chinn

“You were free inside his clothes.” — Karen Bjornson

“He took away the cage. You didn’t really need the structure as much as you needed the woman. He really based most of his collections on us girls.” — Pat Cleveland

So where did it all go wrong? Cocaine and Studio 54 may have started the slide—and in the film, jewelry designer and Halston confidante Else Peretti gives a hilarious digression on mind-altering substances and their use:

“We worked all night… we didn’t get high… yes, we smoked, but no hard drugs… well, maybe a little coke…”

Because when you’re working all night…

But the man who introduced Halston to Studio 54, illustrator Joe Eula, traces the designer’s fall to the delusions of grandeur that set in after the move to the Olympic Tower studio, with its lofty, across-the-street view of St. Patrick’s spires.

The irascible, amphetamine-dependent fashion genius Charles James, who briefly worked with Halston Limited, was—typically—incendiary:

“Halston is a middle-of-the-road man who’d be better as a buyer in a store, or a stylist. He knows how to select good things to copy. But his passion is to put his name on it, for which action the word ‘plagiarism’ is correct.”

In the film, Fred Rottman, a workroom supervisor at Halston, is quick to deflect:

“Halston didn’t copy. He took concepts of Charles James’ and relaxed them.”

Halston’s era—the 1970s and early ’80s—was the time of out-of-control franchising. A designer sold his name to and sometimes designed for an array of manufacturers, slapping the cachet of his or her moniker on, yes, perfume and handbags, but also bedsheets, luggage, rugs, car interiors, and—in Halston’s case—uniforms for Braniff Airlines and the Girl Scouts of America.

This obsession to design everything for everyone, trading “class” for “mass,” led to the sale of his company to a conglomerate—a subject the film spends far too much time on. Suffice to say, Halston lost his judgment: How could he imagine that Bergdorf Goodman would want to carry a brand that was also hanging on the racks at J.C. Penney?

The film includes interviews with the designer’s friends Liza Minnelli, Bob Colacello, Marisa Berenson, Iman, Joel Schumacher, Naeem Khan, and his niece Lesley Frowick.

HALSTON

Through Thursday, June 6.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

The director will participate in post-screening Q & A’s after the 7 pm shows on Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1.

On June 7, HALSTON will open at the Monica Film Center in Santa Monica, the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, and the Town Center 5 in Encino.

From top: Halston at work in his Olympic Tower studio; Halston in the 1960s, photograph © Jean Barthet; the designer with Anjelica Huston—a frequent model for the house—and Liza Minnelli, photographs by Berry Berenson (2); U.S. poster; Halston in 1973 at 33 East 68th Street, New York City, photograph © estate of Charles Tracy. Images courtesy CNN Films and 1091 Media.

LOULOU DE LA FALAISE

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“This book is an oral biography of Paris fashion between the glittering years when Loulou was the light between all the characters.” — André Leon Talley

Christopher Petkanis LOULOU & YVES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF LOULOU DE LA FALAISE AND THE HOUSE OF SAINT LAURENT is a massive oral history centered around the life and times of YSL muse and employee Loulou de la Falaise.

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Among the voices heard from in the book are those of Cecil Beaton, Diana Vreeland, Thadée Klossowski, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Hubert de Givenchy, Manolo Blahnik, Maxime de la Falaise, Diane von Furstenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Nicky Haslam, Elsa Peretti, Betty Catroux, John Richardson, Kenneth Jay Lane, Alber Elbaz, Christian Louboutin, Grace Coddington, Ben Brantley, Jane Ormsby Gore, Bruce Chatwin, Amy Fine Collins, Patrick Bauchau, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, Pierre Bergé, Talley, and Loulou herself.

See: us.macmillan.com/book

Top: Marina Schiano, Loulou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent, and Steve Rubell at the Opium launch party, New York City, 1978.

Above: Thadée Klossowski, Paloma Picasso, and YSL. Polaroid by Andy Warhol.

Below: YSL and de la Falaise.

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PIERRE BERGÉ

Pierre Bergé—publisher, opera impressario, former president of Arcad SIDA, patron of the arts, and life and business partner of Yves Saint Laurent—died today in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

He is survived by his husband Madison Cox, the landscape architect and director of the Fondation Jardin Majorelle.

See Hamish Bowles:

vogue.com/article/pierre-berge-hamish-bowles-remembrance

Loulou de la Falaise, Pierre Bergé, and Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970s.

Image credit: Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent. Photograph by Guy Marineau.

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