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date: 17 August 2019

LeRoy, Louis Hippolytelocked

(b 1763; d 1829).
  • Elizabeth McMahon
  •  and Lourdes Font

Extract

(b 1763; d 1829).

French couturier and marchand de modes. LeRoy was the favoured couturier of the Bonaparte family, §2, who was an avid consumer of luxury goods. Originally a hairdresser, LeRoy combined the functions of the 18th-century couturier (dressmaker) and marchande de modes (milliner and stylist), both traditionally women, into a single establishment. His execution of designs by Jean-Baptiste Isabey for the costumes worn at the coronation of Napoleon I and Josephine on 10 December 1804, established his reputation and allowed him to develop an international clientele. His dominance of women’s fashion continued after the fall of the Empire, until his retirement in 1821. LeRoy’s role as an arbiter of taste anticipates that of the great male couturiers of the late19th and 20th centuries.

Little is known of LeRoy’s youth. His father probably worked as a stage-hand at the Paris Opéra, where the younger LeRoy established himself as a hairdresser. He apparently attracted the notice of ...

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