Photographs by Markus Almeida
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Monday, 28 May 2018
Some images of a remarkable TOOTAL “choker”, coming from my own collection …
Product type Scarves, ties, fabrics, accessories
Owner Coats Viyella
Country United Kingdom
Robert Gardner (1799)
Tootal Broadhurst Lee (1842)
Tootal Ltd. (1973)
Tootal Group plc (1985)
Tootal is a brand name for a range of British ties, scarves and other garments. The brand is now owned by Coats Viyella. It originates from a textile spinning and manufacturing company established in Manchester in 1799, which later became Tootal Broadhurst Lee, and subsequently Tootal Ltd. The company held patents in crease-resistant fabric.
The firm identifies its origins in a company founded in Manchester in 1799 by textile merchant Robert Gardner. The Tootal family, who resided in Wakefield, Yorkshire, became involved in the company in the early nineteenth century. Sarah Tootal married Daniel Broadhurst in 1811, and their son Henry Tootal Broadhurst (1822-1896) – the brother of Charles Edward Broadhurst and brother-in-law of Sir Joseph Whitworth – established a business partnership in Manchester in 1842 with Edward Tootal and Henry Lee, who had worked in Gardner's cotton goods warehouse.
The partnership opened the Sunnybank cotton spinning and weaving mills, and became the largest manufacturer of hand looms in Blackburn, but the partnership was dissolved in 1860. The firm then developed the manufacture of fancy cloths, using steam-powered looms in place of hand looms, and acquired mills at Bolton and Newton Heath for their manufacture. In the 1860s, Henry Tootal Broadhurst, Henry and Joseph Lee, and Robert Scott, were business partners who formed a limited company, Tootal Broadhurst Lee, marketing their goods under the name Tootal.
The company was notable for its vertical integration, combining both spinning and weaving activities, and for its marketing network which included offices and warehouses in Bradford, Belfast and Paris, and national and international agencies promoting their goods. By 1888, when the joint stock company Tootal, Broadhurst, Lee and Company Ltd. was formed, the firm employed some 5,000 workers and operated 172,000 spindles and 3,500 looms, making it one of the largest integrated cotton textile producing companies in Lancashire. Sir Joseph Cocksey Lee (1832-1894), the brother of Henry Lee MP and later an active promoter of the Manchester Ship Canal, became its chairman. At the same time, a separate company, the Lee Spinning Co., was also established.
In 1898, the company opened a large new brick-clad warehouse and office block, now known as Churchgate House, in Oxford Street, Manchester. The building, designed by Joseph Gibbons Sankey, is now a Grade II* listed building, described as "a powerful monument to the entrepreneurialism of the Industrial Revolution and Victorian bombast." Plans in the 1930s to build an adjoining warehouse which would have been the tallest building in Europe at the time were never completed.
Tootal, Broadhurst, Lee continued to develop in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and in 1907 Edward Tootal Broadhurst, the son of Henry Tootal Broadhurst, succeeded Harold Lee (the son of Henry Lee) as chairman. The company was an innovator in its promotion of brand names, and in selling its goods direct to retailers. Though early in its history it specialised in cotton fabrics, it later diversified into other yarns including silk and rayon. It developed a range of fabrics in a wide variety of patterns, including a velvet marketed as "Tootal cloth", and "Tarantulle", used for lingerie and baby wear, as well as focussing on products such as handkerchiefs, scarves and ties. The company provided neckerchiefs and other items for soldiers in the Boer War. A research department was established, and it was active in developing new innovations, such as crease-resistant fabrics. In the early 1920s, it took out patents on urea-formaldehyde resins to produce crease-resistant fabrics, and commercialised its patents by developing an international licensing programme, with successful agencies being granted the use of the Tebilized registered trade mark.
In the First World War the company was noted for giving early guarantees that all their men returning after service would be reinstated in their old positions. By 1939, Tootal had branches throughout Britain and subsidiaries in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and New Zealand, as well as agencies throughout the world. The company participated in the 1947 British Industries Fair, and featured its "Lystav, Robia and Tobralco patented dress and furnishing fabrics, Pyramid men’s handkerchiefs and a bright display of Tootal ties and scarves." New factories were opened in St Helens in 1947, and in Devonport, Tasmania, in 1952. In the 1960s, Tootal joined the English Sewing Cotton Co., and later the Calico Printers Association, becoming English Calico Ltd. which was renamed Tootal Ltd. in 1973. In 1985 it became Tootal Group plc, and in 1991 was acquired by Coats Viyella, which disposed of several of its subsidiaries.
Tootal scarves and ties in polka dot, Paisley and other patterns are now regarded as iconic of the period between the 1920s and 1950s in Britain, when they were advertised widely with the slogan: "Every Man Needs… Tootal Ties". They were associated with the mod subculture in the 1960s, were again revived as fashion accessories in the 1980s and 2000s, and are now seen as emblematic of classic British men's fashion.
Tootal Broadhurst Lee Co
of Radcliffe, Lancs, (now Greater Manchester)
of Manchester and Bolton, cotton manufacturers, later textile spinners and manufacturers.
of 56 Oxford Street, Manchester. Telephone: Manchester, Central 3244. Cables: "Tootal, Manchester". London Address: 21 Cavendish Place, Cavendish Square, London, W1. (1947)
• 1799 The company was founded in Manchester, by Robert Gardner, a textile merchant.
• 1842 Tootal family involvement began.
• 1860s Sunnyside Mills, Bolton and Newton Heath Mills, Manchester, were acquired.
• 1888 After several name changes, the firm became Tootal Broadhurst Lee Co Ltd. The company was registered on 17 January, to take over the business of spinners and manufacturers, carried on at Manchester, London and elsewhere, under the firms of Tootal-Broadhurst, Lee and Co and the Lee Spinning Co. 
• 1891 Directory (Radcliffe): Listed as Cotton spinners and manufacturers. More details 
• 1891 Directory (Manchester and Salford): Listed as Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers. More details. 
• 1891 Directory (Bolton): Listed as Cotton spinners and manufacturers. More details. 
• 1918 A research department was established, which carried out early work on creating crease resistant fabric. The company was notable for its early use of brand names and was a leader in the field of selling direct to retailers.
• By 1939, the firm had spinning, weaving and yarn dyeing factories in Bolton and factories in Newton Heath, Manchester, weaving silk and wool and producing handkerchiefs and ties. There were branches in Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Glasgow and overseas in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and New Zealand. The company had agencies throughout the world. Subsidiaries’ activities included dress manufacture, bleaching, dyeing and crease resistant finishing.
• 1947 A new factory was opened in St. Helens, Lancs. (now Merseyside).
• 1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Mufacturers of Tobralco, Lystav, Robia and other Tootal Dress and Furnishing Fabrics; of Pyramid Handkerchiefs, Tootal Ties and other Tootal Products. (Earls Court, Ground Floor, Stand No 123) 
• 1952 A new factory was opened in Devonport, Tasmania.
• The company became a subsidiary of the holding company Tootal Ltd, which joined English Sewing Cotton Co in 1963.
• 1968 This in turn merged with the Calico Printers Association, becoming English Calico Ltd.
• 1973 This became Tootal Ltd.
• 1985 It became Tootal Group PLC, and is now part of Coats Viyella plc.
(This historical account is mainly based on L. Richmond and B. Stockford, ‘Company Archives’ (1968)):
Tootal Broadhurst Lee Co
of 56 Oxford Street, Manchester. Telephone: Manchester, Central 3244. Cables: "Tootal, Manchester". London Address: 21 Cavendish Place, Cavendish Square, London, W1. (1947)
of Ten Acres Mill, Newton Heath, Manchester; Sunnyside Mills, Bolton; and Black Lane Mills, Radcliffe, textile spinners and manufacturers.
1799 The company was founded in Manchester, by Robert Gardner, a textile merchant.
1842 Tootal family involvement began.
1853 Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee were one of a number of businesses who signed a petition in Manchester concerning the government of the East Indies
1856 "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, as Manufacturers, at Manchester and elsewhere, under the firm of Tootal, Broadhurst, and Lee, expired by effluxion of time on the 1st day of August, 1856, since which date the business has been, and will continue to be, carried on by the undersigned Henry Tootal Broadhurst and Henry Lee, on their own account; and they will receive and pay all debts due to and from the said partnership.—Dated the 8th day of December, 1857. Edward Tootal. Henry T. Broadhurst. Henry Lee."
1859 Dissolution of the partnership of Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee of Manchester, manufacturers, as regards E. Tootal
Up to 1860 the firm was the chief manufacturer of hand looms in Blackburn but then gave up this line of business in favour of fancy cloths, for which they introduced steam power to replace hand powered looms
1860s Sunnyside Mills, Bolton; and Newton Heath Mill, Manchester, were acquired.
Henry Tootal Broadhurst, Henry and Joseph Lee and Robert Scott were business partners who formed a limited company Tootal Broadhurst Lee (or Tootal for short).
1887 The company was vertically integrated, combining spinning and power-loom weaving, at a time when there was a tendency for firms to specialize in a single process. A further distinctive feature of the company was its marketing network, including offices and warehouses in Bradford, Belfast, and Paris, and agencies further afield. Tootals employed about 5000 workers in 1887, and operated 172,000 spindles and 3500 looms, making it the third largest vertically integrated cotton firm in Lancashire.
1888 Joint stock company formed: Tootal, Broadhurst, Lee and Company Ltd in order to faciltate family and other arrangements; the new company took over Tootal, Broadhurst, Lee and Co, merchants and manufacturers, and Lee Spinning Co; no shares were issued to the public. Sir Joseph C. Lee was to be chairman
1888 The company was registered on 17 January, to take over the business of spinners and manufacturers, carried on at Manchester, London and elsewhere, under the firms of Tootal-Broadhurst, Lee and Co and the Lee Spinning Co
1891 Directory (Radcliffe): Listed as cotton spinners and manufacturers. More details.
1891 Directory (Manchester and Salford): Listed as cotton spinners and manufacturers. More details.
1891 Directory (Bolton): Listed as cotton spinners and manufacturers. More details.
1907 Edward Tootal Broadhurst succeeded Harold Lee, son of Henry Lee, as chairman
1918 A research department was established, which carried out early work on creating crease resistant fabric. The company was notable for its early use of brand names and was a leader in the field of selling direct to retailers.
By 1939, the firm had spinning, weaving and yarn dyeing factories in Bolton and factories in Newton Heath, Manchester, weaving silk and wool and producing handkerchiefs and ties. There were branches in Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Glasgow and overseas in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and New Zealand. The company had agencies throughout the world. Subsidiaries’ activities included dress manufacture, bleaching, dyeing and crease resistant finishing.
1947 A new factory was opened in St. Helens, Lancs. (now Merseyside).
1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Tobralco, Lystav, Robia and other Tootal Dress and Furnishing Fabrics; of Pyramid Handkerchiefs, Tootal Ties and other Tootal Products. (Earls Court, Ground Floor, Stand No 123) 
1952 A new factory was opened in Devonport, Tasmania.
The company became a subsidiary of the holding company Tootal Ltd
1961 In Bolton, subsidiaries of Tootal included:
Tootal Spinning Ltd.
Tootal Weaving Ltd.
1963 Tootal joined English Sewing Cotton Co
1968 This in turn merged with the Calico Printers Association, becoming English Calico Ltd.
1973 This became Tootal Ltd.
1985 It became Tootal Group PLC
1991 Tootal Group plc was acquired by Coats Viyella plc which subsequently disposed of several subsidiaries of Tootal.
Publicada por Jeeves em 01:12 0 comentários
Thursday, 24 May 2018
Tom Wolfe obituary / Remembering Tom Wolfe, American writer with an 'anthropologist's delight'
Tom Wolfe obituary: a great dandy, in elaborate dress and neon-lit prose
Journalist and author who won a name as a brilliant satirist with the ‘novel of the 1980s’, The Bonfire of the Vanities
Tue 15 May 2018 17.28 BST Last modified on Thu 17 May 2018
The writer Tom Wolfe, who has died aged 88, was a great dandy, both in his elaborate dress and his neon-lit prose. Although he was in his late 50s when he became a bestselling novelist, with The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), some 30 years before that he was already famous as a journalist, was indeed that extremely rare thing, the journalist as international celebrity.
It was a part Wolfe played up to, wearing showy tailor-made white suits, summer and winter, as well as fancy headgear and shirts with detachable collars. The overall impression was of a fashionplate from a bygone age. The sartorial fireworks fitted in very well with the highly eccentric literary style Wolfe used and which made such a name for him when he published The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965), which brought the world the first news of the 1960s counterculture in California.
The curious style came about by chance. In 1963, commissioned to write about custom cars for Esquire magazine, Wolfe got as far as writing hurried notes and told his editor, Byron Dobell, to give them to someone else because he could not produce the finished piece. Dobell read the notes and printed them as they were.
The peculiar style, full of exclamation marks, words elongated for special effect, and words in capital letters, gave the impression of news that was too hot for the simple declarative sentence; also that it was highly complicated to explain but that Wolfe himself knew all there was to know about it, and from the inside. As the news was from the counterculture or, later on, from the world of the New York new rich, the prose seemed to fit the passion.
The Bonfire of the Vanities, the tale of the fall of a young Wall Street trader, one of the self-styled “masters of the universe”, was called the “novel of the 1980s” and won Wolfe a name as a brilliant satirist. The one dark cloud in its success was that the 1990 film of the book, directed by Brian De Palma, failed both critically and at the box office, in spite of Tom Hanks playing the lead. The other Wolfe book turned into a movie fared much better. This was The Right Stuff (1979), a non-fiction account of the first astronauts. The 1983 film was made by Philip Kaufman and won four Oscars.
Fans had to wait 11 years for the next novel, A Man in Full (1998), a rather disjointed and over-long look at the new south of the 90s. This was attacked by John Updike, Norman Mailer and John Irving. Updike said it was not literature but entertainment; Mailer described it as like being made love to by a 300lb woman (“Fall in love or be asphyxiated”) and Irving said simply: “He can’t fucking write.” Wolfe had a good time counter-attacking. He called them “my three stooges”. He could afford to be offhand with his critics, for A Man in Full had received an advance of $7.5m.
The wonderful early pieces received nothing but praise. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) was called an American classic, “a DayGlo book”, the Washington Post said. It was the story of a cross-country trip in a bus by Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and his spaced-out young followers, the Merry Pranksters, all high on LSD and passing it out free in glasses of Kool-Aid.
Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers (1970) comprised more first-rate pieces of comic sociology, particularly the title story about wealthy New York liberals making fools of themselves throwing parties for the Black Panthers. The Pump House Gang (1968) and The Mid-Atlantic Man (1969) were collections of articles; The New Journalism (1973) an anthology; The Painted Word (1975) art criticism; From Bauhaus to Our House (1981) architecture criticism; Ambush at Fort Bragg (1997) a novella, a Rolling Stone magazine serialisation then in an audio-only version.
At the age of 73 and after suffering a heart attack and a quintuple bypass, Wolfe surprised everyone with I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004), a brilliantly funny and hard-hitting demolition job on American higher education set in a fictional Ivy League university in Pennsylvania. Back to Blood (2012), set in Miami and with a Cuban-American cop as its lead character, was described by the Guardian’s reviewer as “like a novel for the hard of hearing, megaphone meets ear trumpet”; The Kingdom of Speech (2016) challenged theories of evolution and speech development.
Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia. In later years he described his father, Thomas, as an agronomist, but in the early years he had called him “a gentleman farmer”. Wolfe was encouraged to write by his mother, Louise, and at nine, he tried his hand at biographies of Napoleon and Mozart.
He went to a private day school, St Christopher’s, in Richmond, and then to Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, where he played baseball and edited the literary magazine Shenandoah. He told me that he was very serious about being a baseball pitcher and once put on a tremendous amount of weight in order to throw the ball harder. This was a failure, because the weight slowed him up in the field.
After Washington and Lee, he went to Yale and got a PhD in 1957 in American studies. He then found a job in journalism on the Springfield Union in Massachusetts. That is where I first met him. It would be pleasant to think that his colleagues all saw what a success he would be, but this is not true. We only saw that he was different. This we put down to his being a southerner, and at that time in New England we were suspicious of southerners, thinking they might have a slave or two stashed away in a backyard shed. His southern ways were in fact sometimes shocking: he told jokes about black people without taking in the pained expressions of his audience – or perhaps he was doing it on purpose to annoy us.
Early on, he demonstrated his unusual angle on stories, and it was not always appreciated. Once he was sent to cover an outdoor concert of classical music in the Berkshire mountains and wrote a long piece about the way people sat on the grass listening to it. This confused his editor at the Springfield Union newspaper. Another time he was covering an event at Mount Holyoke College in nearby South Hadley and wrote mainly about how the president of the college held his chin in a jut-jawed fashion while speaking. The college was furious and demanded an apology.
At this period he was spending most of his free weekends in New York, taking drawing lessons from a New Yorker artist. This interest in cartooning remained all his life; he published many of them and held one-man shows. Wolfe left the Springfield Union for the Washington Post in 1959; he then joined the old New York Herald Tribune in 1962 and there his real career began.
He was surprisingly shy, and when The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby was published in the UK in 1966, he insisted that I make the trip down from Liverpool to be with him in London. He put me up in Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair. Nervous about the launch party being given by his publishers, Jonathan Cape, we went out drinking all day long and for some reason he started imitating WC Fields and could not stop it. It was amusing to read, in the newspapers reporting the launch, about his extraordinary accent.
Although the book was picked for the American Book of the Month Club and earned him $600,000, he was still very much a working journalist. The Herald Tribune called him from New York and said he must send them a story. He told me next day how lucky he was to have seen a man hit by a taxi in London. The man was sitting in the street nursing a broken leg and saying over and over again: “What a bore.” This, Wolfe thought, would show New York what a strange use of language the English had.
Wolfe came to stay with me in Liverpool and while there wrote much of what became The Mid-Atlantic Man. Every morning he went out in a suit and tie with a packet of ginger nut biscuits to sit in the Sefton Park palm house writing. He wrote everything in longhand first, using a fancy style of calligraphy so that sometimes he was getting only 14 words to a page. Afterwards he would rewrite on a typewriter, and never really took to computers.
Wolfe was mistaken for a liberal when he first started out, but his ultra-conservatism later became obvious. He not only supported Ronald Reagan, calling him “one of the greatest presidents ever” but, much worse to the east coast liberal mind, he praised George W Bush. When people said they would leave the country if Bush was elected, Wolfe said he might go to Kennedy airport to wave them goodbye. He thought Donald Trump “a lovable megalomaniac”, and, comparing him to Reagan, concluded that “brilliance is really not a requirement for politicians”.
In 1978 he married Sheila Berger, the art director at Harper’s magazine. She survives him, along with their two children, Alexandra and Tommy.
• Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, journalist and novelist, born 2 March 1930; died 14 May 2018
Publicada por Jeeves em 02:31 0 comentários
Sunday, 6 May 2018
Friday, 4 May 2018
The sale of the century: A look inside the Rockefeller auction
'An exceptional sale': dazzling Rockefeller collection could fetch $1bn
Sprawling private collection of 1,600 of David Rockefeller’s items will go on auction at Christie’s – and could break records
Oliver Laughland in New York
Fri 4 May 2018 14.36 BST Last modified on Fri 4 May 2018 22.00 BST
In a bid to keep the sale as accessible as possible, hundreds of items, including costume jewellery and furniture, are being placed in an online auction where bidding starts as low as $100.
There was a hushed sense of awe among the spectators perusing the nearly 1,600 items prepared for auction at Christie’s in Manhattan. Elderly New York society doyennes walked through the collection with private guides, stopping for a second to admire the Monets and Picassos, as tour groups crowded by the ornate porcelains and decorative arts, spanning centuries and continents, craning their heads to catch a glimpse.
But then, this is no ordinary collection, and it will certainly be no ordinary auction.
Spread across three floors of Christie’s salerooms is the sprawling private collection of David Rockefeller, the billionaire banker and globetrotting philanthropist who died last year at 101. The last surviving grandchild of the oil magnate and America’s first billionaire John D Rockefeller, David Rockefeller spent much of his life collecting exceptional works of modern art, which will now be sold to raise money for the family’s preferred charitable causes.
Branded as a once-in-a-generation chance for global collectors to buy some of the world’s most significant pieces still in private collection, some predict the auction, which will take place over three days next week, could be the first to raise $1bn in total.
“This is not just a New York event,” said Jonathan Rendell, Christie’s deputy chairman. “It’s a world event. It is an exceptional sale.”
Among the collection’s highlights include Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie (Young Girl with a Basket of Flowers), one of the finest portraits of his rose period. The painting had hung in the living room of Rockefeller’s grand Manhattan home on the Upper East Side for decades. He bought it from the estate of Gertrude Stein in 1968, meaning the painting has only had two owners. It was described in Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, the memoir of the author’s time in 1920s Paris, as hanging in Stein’s Left Bank apartment.
The piece is expected to sell for over $100m.
Also on sale is Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur (Water Lilies in Bloom), an important work in the artist’s series of water garden paintings. The work is distinguished by the fact that all the lilies are in full bloom, and was brought to New York after Rockefeller, with his wife Peggy, who died in 1996, purchased it from a dealer in Paris in 1956. The painting had hung at the couple’s Hudson Pines estate in Sleepy Hollow, near the bottom of grand, winding staircase, and is estimated to sell for between $50m and $70m.
The collection also includes a number of works from American artists including Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Willem de Kooning – most of them valued at over seven figures. Diego Rivera’s masterwork The Rivals, painted in 1931 in a makeshift studio aboard the steamship that brought him and Frida Kahlo to New York, will also be on sale – valued at up to $7m.
“Encountering the quality of these paintings has been a fantastic journey for all of us,” Rendell said.
But even among these eye-watering estimates there is a sense that Christie’s has veered on the conservative side. Following the $450m sale of a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci at the end of last year, a price that shattered auction records, some predict the auction’s banner items will go for much higher than the estimated price.
Rendell would not be drawn on the issue. “I will wait until next week and then I’ll say if it was a conservative estimate. This week, the estimate is what the estimate is,” he said.
While the greatest monetary value lies in Rockefeller’s modern art, the collection extends to an array of extraordinary artefacts, from a dinner service Napoleon took with him into exile on the island of Elba in 1814, to a 13th-century Syrian incense burner unique in that it has Christian and Islamic decoration. The burner had sat on Rockefeller’s desk until his death.
The Rockefellers purchased many of the pieces over their decades of collecting for relatively small prices, only to see the valuation balloon in recent years as the market surged.
Nonetheless, in a bid to keep the sale as accessible as possible, hundreds of items, including costume jewellery and furniture, are being placed in an online auction where bidding starts as low as $100.
To many in the art world, next week’s auction marks the end of an era. Rockefeller, who had long pledged to sell his entire collection and donate the proceeds to a group of chosen charities, was the last in a line of tycoon collectors whose primary mission was to patronise the arts through their purchases.
“It was the stagecraft of his life,” said Evan Beard, national art services executive at US Trust, Bank of America’s private wealth management division. “But the folks who will be buying a lot of this material will be a new breed of collector, where they have at least one eye on the financial component. Art for them is an extension of their financial life.”
Beard said he represented a number of buyers planning to bid on some of the most lucrative items in the catalogue. A group of which were hedge fund managers, “trophy hunting clients”, aiming to put together some of the great private collections in the world.
Publicada por Jeeves em 15:37 1 comentários
Wednesday, 2 May 2018
Loulou de La Falaise; 4 May 1948 – 5 November 2011) / VIDEO: Loulou de la Falaise's Funeral with Catherine Deneuve, Kenzo, Arielle Do...
Loulou de La Falaise; 4 May 1948 – 5 November 2011) was a fashion muse and designer of fashion, accessories and jewellery associated with Yves Saint Laurent. Author Judith Thurman, writing in The New Yorker magazine, called La Falaise "the quintessential Rive Gauche haute bohémienne".The daughter of an Anglo-Irish fashion model and a French marquis, she helped inspire Saint Laurent's 1966 women's tuxedo Le Smoking and his see-through blouses, according to The Independent.
Louise Vava Lucia Henriette Le Bailly de La Falaise was born on 4 May 1948 in England, the eldest child and only daughter of Alain, Count de La Falaise (1903–1977), a French writer, translator and publisher, and his second wife, the former Maxime Birley (1922–2009), an Anglo-Irish fashion model, whom photographer Cecil Beaton once told, "You are the only English woman I know who manages to be really chic in really hideous clothes".
Three of her christening names honoured relations: Louise (her father's elder sister, who died as a teenager); Vava (one of the names of her maternal grandmother, Lady Birley); and Henriette (the name of her paternal grandmother, Henriette Hennessy, Comtesse Alain Hocquart de Turtot). La Falaise was allegedly baptised not with holy water but with Shocking, the scent by fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, her mother's employer.
After her parents' divorce in 1950, following her mother's infidelities and a French court's declaration of her as an unfit mother, Loulou and her brother went to live with foster families until she was seven. After that, La Falaise was enrolled in English boarding schools, and "her school holidays were shared between mother, father, and the second foster family". She attended a boarding school in Switzerland as well as the Lycée Français de New York, though was expelled from each due to her rebellious nature.
La Falaise's maternal grandfather was portrait painter Sir Oswald Birley, and an uncle was Mark Birley (1930–2007), restaurateur and founder of the London nightclub, "Annabel's". Another uncle, her father's elder brother, was Henri de La Falaise, Marquis de La Coudraye, (1898–1972), film director and third husband of American actress Gloria Swanson (1899–1983). Her paternal grandfather was a three-time French Olympic gold medallist in fencing, Louis Gabriel de La Falaise (1866–1910).
Loulou de La Falaise had one sibling, Alexis Richard Dion Oswald Le Bailly de La Falaise,(1948-2004), a furniture designer, who appeared in the Andy Warhol film Tub Girls. After the death of her uncle in 1972, her father became the Marquis de La Coudraye, as he died without issue. After her father's death in 1977, her brother assumed the title, Marquis de La Coudraye (until his death in 2004).
Her niece, Lucie Le Bailly de La Falaise (born 19 February 1973), a model, is the wife of Marlon Richards, son of Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg. Her nephew, Daniel Le Bailly de La Falaise (born 6 September 1970), is a professional chef and food writer and the current Marquis de La Coudraye.
The family's actual surname is Le Bailly, though members have used Le Bailly de La Falaise, referring to an ancestral estate, since the mid 19th century; it is typically abbreviated to de La Falaise.
La Falaise moved to New York City in the late 1960s, where she briefly modelled for American Vogue before turning to designing printed fabrics for Halston. Late in the decade she worked as a junior editor at the British society magazine Queen, during which time she met Saint Laurent.Eventually, she moved to Paris, where she joined his haute-couture firm in 1972. Responding to a description of her as a Saint Laurent muse in 2010, La Falaise responded, “For me, a muse is someone who looks glamorous but is quite passive, whereas I was very hard-working. I worked from 9am to sometimes 9pm, or even 2am. I certainly wasn't passive.”
"Her official task was to bring her eccentric style to accessories and jewellery, and she duly came up with often-chunky designs incorporating large colourful stones, enamel work or rock crystal". La Falaise also inspired Saint Laurent with her inventive wardrobe: "one week she was Desdemona in purple velvet flares and a crown of flowers, the next Marlene [Dietrich] with plucked crescent-shaped eyebrows". In 2002, when Saint Laurent retired, La Falaise began producing her own clothing and jewellery designs. As reported in The New York Times by fashion writer Cathy Horyn, "The clothing line captured much of her rare taste—well-cut blazers in the best English tweeds, French sailor pants in linen, striped silk blouses with cheeky black lace edging, masculine walking coats with fur linings, and gorgeous knits in perfectly chosen colors".
She also designed cloisonné boxes and porcelain vases for Asiatides, as well as jewellery for the boutique of the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, Morocco.
After more than three decades designing jewellery and accessories for Saint Laurent, La Falaise launched her own fashion business, designing ready-to-wear, costume jewellery, and accessories, which were retailed in the U.S. as well as two Loulou de La Falaise shops in Paris.
She sold simplified versions of her jewellery designs in a line created for the Home Shopping Network and created costume jewellery for Oscar de la Renta. She operated two of her own shops in Paris, one of which was designed by her brother, Alexis.
On 6 October 1966, she married Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin (1937-2011), an Irish nobleman. They separated the following year and divorced in 1970. Her title upon marrying the knight was Madam FitzGerald.
On 11 June 1977, she married Thadée Klossowski de Rola, a French writer, who is the younger son of the painter Balthus in Paris, France. She wore a harem-and-turban ensemble from Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. They had one child:
Anna Klossowski de Rola, co-founder of the contemporary art collection called "MGM."
La Falaise died at Gisors' hospital, France, on 5 November 2011.The cause of death was not specified, other than as the result of a "long illness".An obituary published in Women's Wear Daily stated, "According to sources, de la Falaise was diagnosed with lung cancer last June, but implored intimates to keep her health a private matter".
Loulou de la Falaise: Yves Saint Laurent’s reluctant muse
For 30 years, she helped Saint Laurent see things through rose-coloured glasses. A new book reveals why the troubled designer was drawn to his right-hand woman’s more-is-more style
Wed 2 May 2018 06.00 BST
Loulou de la Falaise, a woman whose Wikipedia entry starts by describing her as “a fashion muse”, always gave the idea short shrift. “To me, a muse comes to have cookies and a chat and looks frightfully smart,” she said. “I didn’t see it as someone who worked as hard as I did.”
As detailed in Christopher Petkanas’s book, Loulou & Yves, De la Falaise was by Yves Saint Laurent’s side for 30 years. They began to work together in 1972. “He was very vague about [my job],” she remembered. “He didn’t specify what I was going to do.” Her daily responsibilities show she was a multitasker of the highest order. They included everything from helping decide on the colour of a collection (“Yves has a phenomenal sense of colour, but he needs me to jerk it out of his system,” she said), to the casting of models (she encouraged the house to use Kate Moss), designing the jewellery and walking Saint Laurent’s French bulldog, Moujik. Principally, however, De la Falaise was there as a taste check, someone to try ideas on – sometimes literally – and to brainstorm with. “She is charm, poetry, excess, extravagance and elegance all in one blow,” said the designer. “We make a stewing pot. Things bubble and brew.”
De la Falaise’s style is now the stuff of legend – and Pinterest boards. Headscarves and turbans became her trademark – on her wedding day in 1977, she married Thadée Klossowski in a white turban with coral-red tassels – while her attitude to dressing could be summed up as: “Why wear one skirt/sweater/necklace if you can wear four?” As with all style icons – from Jane Birkin to Kate Moss and Rihanna – a frustratingly indefinable flair was at the heart of it. “I’ve always longed to pull off wearing a couture dress with a bit of old tat from a flea market,” says De la Falaise’s sometime associate Nicky Samuel in Petkanas’s book, “but only a few women succeed.” De la Falaise was one of them.
If De la Falaise was part-inspiration at Saint Laurent, she was also there to gee up the famously troubled designer, with her trademark light disposition. Betty Catroux, who is also described as a Saint Laurent muse, says De la Falaise “saw everything through rose-coloured glasses. She was our Prozac”.
As with many people who present as sweetness and light, De la Falaise had her own troubles. Born in the UK to the French writer Alain de la Falaise and socialite Maxime Birley, she and her brother Alexis were sent to live with a couple in rural France as children. De la Falaise’s first fashion-show experience was being taken to Paris as a child by her aunt, Gloria Swanson, and she was friends with Andy Warhol by the time she was 15. She used drugs and alcohol, and developed hepatitis in her 20s; she died three years after Saint Laurent, in 2011, at the age of 63. While she had started her own label after parting ways with Saint Laurent when he retired from the house in 2002, it is for her associations with the designer that she will be remembered – muse or not. Her importance was summed up by Paris Match after she died. The headline? “The second death of Yves Saint Laurent.”
Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent
By Christopher Petkanas
No one interested in fashion, style, or the high-flying intrigues of café society will want to miss the exuberantly entertaining oral biography Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent, by Christopher Petkanas.
Dauntless,“in the bone” style made Loulou de La Falaise one of the great fashion firebrands of the twentieth century. Descending in a direct line from Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, she was celebrated at her death in 2011, aged just sixty-four, as the “highest of haute bohemia,” a feckless adventuress in the art of living―and the one person Yves Saint Laurent could not live without.
Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) was the most influential designer of his times; possibly also the most neurasthenic. In an exquisitely intimate, sometimes painful personal and professional relationship, Loulou de La Falaise was his creative right hand, muse, alter ego and the virtuoso behind all the devastatingly flamboyant accessories that were a crucial component of the YSL “look.” For thirty years, until his retirement in 2002, Yves relied on Loulou to inspire him with the tilt of her hat, make him laugh and talk him off the ledge―the enchanted formula that brought him from one historic collection to the next.
“Her presence at my side is a dream,” Yves declares in Loulou & Yves. “I trust her reactions. Sometimes they are violent but always positive... I bounce ideas off her and they come back clearer and things begin to happen.”
Yves’s many tributes shape Loulou’s memory, as if everything there was to know about this fugitive, Giacometti-like figure could be told by her clanking bronze cuffs, towering fur toques, the turquoise boulders on her fingers and her working friendship with the man who put women in pants. But parallel to this storyline runs another, darker one, lifting the veil on Loulou, a classic “number two” with a contempt for convention, and exposing the underbelly of fashion at its highest level. Behind Yves’s encomiums are a pair of aristocrat parents―Loulou’s shiftless French father and menacingly chic English mother―who abandoned her to a childhood of foster care and sexual abuse straight out of “Les Misérables”; Loulou’s recurring desperation to leave Yves and go out on her own; and the grandiose myths surrounding her family. Loulou felt that her life had been kidnapped by the operatic workings of the House of Saint Laurent, and in her last years danced with financial ruin. Delving beyond the “official” version of her life, Loulou & Yves unspools an elusive fashion idol―nymphomaniacal, heedless and up to her bracelets in coke and Boizel champagne―at the core of what used to be called “le beau monde.”
On the theory that everyone loves a cocktail party, Loulou & Yves traces her life chronologically through the charming literary device of oral biography, in which the spoken memories of more than two hundred “voices”―husbands, lovers, extended family, friends, enemies, slightly less bitter detractors, colleagues, groupies, pundits, and hangers-on―are seamlessly interwoven with those of Yves and Loulou themselves. Readers mingle at the party as invited guests, listening in on Andy Warhol and Karl Lagerfeld and collecting clues from Mick Jagger and Tom Ford as the narrative unfolds. Topping the A-list of figures who tell Loulou’s story in their own words, uncensored, are Cecil Beaton, Diana Vreeland, Thadée Klossowski, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Hubert de Givenchy, Manolo Blahnik, Diane von Furstenberg, Elsa Peretti, Betty Catroux, John Richardson, Alber Elbaz, Christian Louboutin, Grace Coddington, Ben Brantley, Bruce Chatwin, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, André Leon Talley, and Pierre Bergé. In a fluent round of sparkling conversation, author Christopher Petkanas brings them all together for a party that swirls around one of the most scintillating women the fashion world has ever known.
“She’s the sounding board,” Yves rhapsodizes of his second self in Loulou & Yves, a sweeping, waspish work of fashion and social history. “She’s never wrong.”
About Christopher Petkanas
Marjorie R. Williams author photo_credit Kent Lineback
While living in Paris, Christopher Petkanas covered Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent from 1982 to 1988, picking up with Loulou again more than two decades later, in 2010, the year before she died. He has written for The New York Times, Vogue, and Architectural Digest, and his previous books are At Home in France: Eating and Entertaining with the French, and Parish-Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design (with Sister Parish and Albert Hadley). He now resides in New York
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