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Lucien Lacouture

Born in Sorel, 1895 - Died in Montreal, 1934


1920 - 1934

Lucien Lacouture was a prominent couturier in 1920s and 1930s Montreal. In the early 1920s, he graduated from the Fashion Academy in New York City and stayed on to work there as a designer for specialty shops. In 1924, after making theatre costumes in the work room of Franco-American milliner Yvonne Routon, he went to France to open a Paris atelier for Madam Routon. Around 1926, he returned to Montreal to open his own studio on MacKay Street, not far from that of his friend, milliner Émile Phaneuf. He then moved to Bishop Street.

In the early 1930s, his clientele of high society women included Saidye Rosner Bronfman, the wife of legendary Seagram’s founder Samuel Bronfman. After Lacouture’s death in 1934, his assistant, Hernance Ferland, was hired by couturier Marie-Paule Nolin, who was then able to attract some of his coveted clientele. In her autobiography, Elsa Gidlow talks about Lacouture’s personal life as a homosexual in early 20th century Montreal.


Beaudoin-Ross, Jacqueline, 1991. «Marie-Paule Haute Couture», Dress, 18 : 14-25.

Gidlow, Elsa. Elsa, I Come with My Songs : The Autobiography of Elsa Gidlow. San Francisco: Booklegger Press, 1986.

Guersney, Betty, 1982. Gaby. The Life and Times of Gaby Bernier Couturière Extraordinaire, Toronto, Marincourt Press, 200 p.

Higgins, Ross, 1998. «À la mode : Fashioning Gay Community in Montreal», dans Consuming Fashion. Adorning the Transnational Body, Anne Brydon et Sandra Niessen (dir.), Oxford et New York, Berg, p. 129-161.

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