August 22 2014

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Louise Leconte Gets the Gaga Bump


Louise Leconte's dress worn by Lady Gaga

With her ArtPop album set to debut in November (and a new song that allegedly leaked today), Lady Gaga has ended her uncharacteristic under-the-radar spell—she’s been recovering from hip surgery since February—reemerging on the scene with a look that’s pared down but no less bold. Earlier this month, she attended artist Robert Wilson’s Watermill Benefit in the Hamptons (where she announced an upcoming project with Wilson and Marina Abramovic), donning a vampy black gown that curved in at the chest to reveal a black lace brassiere. The ensemble, we learned, wasn’t designed by any of Gaga’s favorite haute powerhouses—rather, it was the work of 26-year-old up-and-comer Louise Leconte. “Her stylist wrote me and asked for six or seven looks from my graduation collection, so of course I sent them,” the French-born, Brussels-based designer told

Leconte—who earned a master’s degree from Belgium’s La Cambre Mode[s] last year—originally debuted the Gaga dress during her 2012 graduate show. “The collection was based on Joan of Arc, so the garments were armor-inspired,” she said, noting that the entire line was crafted out of waxed, molded leather and organza. Her black-and-white looks deliberately revealed parts of the body that, as Leconte explained, “aren’t supposed to be shown. [The collection] was questioning what we do when we dress up—are we protecting ourselves and our bodies, or are we exhibiting or demonstrating something? I’m really happy [Gaga] didn’t wear anything underneath.”

Having worked with Christian Lacroix in Paris and Threeasfour in New York before finishing school, Leconte is currently working on a new line that revolves around the concept of temptation. She’s also selling made-to-order wares, as well as a range of ornate leather shield bags—which also originated from her graduate range—on her Web site. “I think there is an interesting parallel between the way women hold their It bags and the way soldiers carry their shields,” offered the designer. We have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more from this pensive talent—both on Gaga and elsewhere—in the very near future.

Photo: Lalo Gonzalez

Designer Update