The man responsible for much of the heartbreakingly exquisite beauty of haute couture has died. Francois Lesage was head of Maison Lesage, the legendary embroidery salon in Paris where rare magic happens. He was 82.
It seems the craft was in his blood. His father, Albert, founded the family firm in 1924 when he bought the atelier of Napoleon III’s embroiderer, Michonet, who had also worked for Charles Frederick Worth. Subsequently Albert married Marie-Louise Favot, an embroidery worker at Vionnet. With that legacy how could he have followed any other path?
Luckily he fell in love with beautifying textiles with threads and beads and has helped keep this highly skilled art alive, through the work of the Maison as seen on the best of haute couture (not without help from Chanel who saved the Maison by buying it), and ensuring new talent is nurtured through his Paris school, Ecole Lesage Atelier de Broderie. What a dream vocation. (A fellow Canadian named Sarah Crowley got her dream and moved to Paris to study at Lesage a few years ago, you can read about her time there and see her own beautiful designs at Glimpse Creations.)
Below is a delight of an interview with Lesage from 1987 from Fashion Television: