Rose Torrente-Mett was born in France in the 1940's and is from a famous fashion family.

One set of grandparents were tanners: her genetic inheritance from them was a taste for fine materials. Her grandmother on the other side of the family was a lingerie seamstress and corset maker: she instilled in him the importance of always producing your best work.

Then, there was her father, an optician, from whom he learned about accessories and innovative shapes.

His brother is Ted Lapidus, founder of the Lapidus couture house which is now run by Rose's nephew Olivier Lapidus. Her family faced a difficult path being Jewish during World War II.

Initially Rose worked for her brother and after several years she started up on her own in 1968. In 1971, she was invited to become a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. She was the only woman couturier as member of the Chambre, until the arrival of her friend Hanae Mori.

One of her struggles was against the powerful journalist Pierre-Yves Guilhen, who declared Madame Torrente a personal enemy and sought to destroy her at every opportunity. After ten years her final victory over her was complete and final.

In 1985, she took up the post of Lecturer on Fashion subjects at the Ecole des Haute Etudes Commerciales.

Torrente has numerous boutiques and outlets all over the world. In 1997, Torrente opened a large store on the famous fashion street of Paris, the Rue Faubourg St. Honore which has been a splendid success.

In 2002, Rose Torrente-Mett stood back from the day-to-day designing work, and became Chairwoman and General Manager of the Company. Her only worry was how Parisiennes would remain elegant without her.

Christopher Josse had trained under Rose for 12 years, having joined in 1990. He designed the Haute Couture collection for Fall 2003 in March 2003, while Rose sat in the front row. We do not know what happened.

However, after only one collection there was a change in designer. Julien Fournie (born 1975) was appointed Designer for the Haute Couture and Ready-to-wear collections from September 2003.

The Haute Couture show for Fall 2004 presented by Julien Fournie, was shown in Paris in July 2004, and a gown from the show is pictured on the right. The beautiful clothes were a resounding success.

Rose Torrente-Mett has published a tell-all book "Le Droite Fil: Souvenirs de Haute Couture". This book recounts her amazing story as the internationally acclaimed queen of haute couture, and founder of her legendary house.

The Look

This fashion designer, with her green eyes and mop of red hair a la Shirley MacLaine, had the determination and energy of a Madeleine Vionnet or a Coco Chanel. She excelled in designing highly structured tailleurs and overcoats, simple and essential, and her style was so new that it attracted and immediately seduced sophisticated and demanding clients.

Who Wears It

Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Claudia Cardinale, Brigitte Bardot, Romy Schneider, Marina Vlady, Raquel Welch, Paulette Goddard, Catherine Deneuve, Ursula Andress and Natalie Wood


2001 L'Or (W)
2004 My Torrente (W)
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