the designers

Louise Melenot was born in 1878. At the age of 13, she became an apprentice at a dressmaking establishment. She then worked with Madeleine CHERUIT until 1927.

In 1927, she and her husband Louis Boulanger opened their own salon. She joined her two names together to avoid confusion with another designer with a similar name. In 1933 Louise closed her own house briefly, and worked for CALLOT SISTERS but she reopened and relocated at rue Royale in Paris.

But in 1939, when World War II hit Paris, she closed her maison de couture. Her era had come to an end.

She died in 1950 at the age of 72.

The Look

For many years, Louiseboulanger was a successful designer of graceful, elegant clothes often cut on the bias. She made evening dresses which were knee-length in front, but fell to the ankles at the back. Bold colours and heavy fabrics such as taffeta, were her trademarks. In the mid-20's, Louiseboulanger brought out the "pouf " evening dress which was fitted close around the torso to the waist, then elaborately draped, layered or fan-pleated at the back of the hips in what was almost a bustle, providing an effect of bouffant fullness. She used warm rose pinks, apricots and orange colours as well as icy blue and sapphire blue. She favoured figured textiles rather than embroidery. She became known for her use of flowered taffeta, painted chiffon or printed crepe. Her fabric sense was assured and innovative. Baron Adolph de Meyer noted that her designs were "decidedly modern, young, fresh and vigorous."

Who Wears It

Her designs appealed to clients who wanted to be noticed. Marlene Dietrich was described by Bettina Ballard as wearing a Louiseboulanger green velvet tunic, richly bordered in sable fur.

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