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  • Writer's pictureESMOD

Laura and her passion for history

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

Laura Desauziers has two passions in life: history, with a capital H, and fashion, in terms of not only the latest trends but also the way in which it sheds light on and sometimes even goes some way to explaining the great movements of a given period in history. Both are passions she has harboured since childhood. “I was particularly fond of the Louis XIV era and the splendour of Versailles”. But what triggered this love? A film that really captivated the young woman from Lyon. “I think I was about eight years old. L'Allée du Roi had been on TV, an adaptation of Françoise Chandernagor's novel directed by Nina Companeez, and something clicked in me immediately”.

Laura decided to create a magazine while she was still in secondary school in an attempt to reconcile her two complementary passions, and this magazine would become a valuable support for her along her journey. “It was called Les Falbalas de Mademoiselle Rose, in tribute to Rose Bertin who, as you know, was sort of the ‘Secretary of Fashion’ to Queen of France Marie-Antoinette. I was in year 12 at the time, and the magazine was based on the history of fashion, although I was also interested in the latest developments in the world of fashion, and collaborations in particular”. It was an engaging passtime in which Laura already demonstrated a keen sense of discipline: “I wrote three articles a week, but of course I had less work to do at school than at Esmod”, she jokes. “It was really the passion that drove me, along with the desire to share this passion far outside of the school’s boundaries”.

When did this passion become a vocation? “I will say, in retrospect, that I always knew I wanted to make a living out of this. Even before I finished at secondary school, I knew it had to be Esmod for me. I’d attended the open day organised by the school in Lyon, and it was immediately love at first sight. I’d visited other schools, but the environment Esmod provided suited me down to the ground, it was just perfect”, Laura, who has excellent memories of her education, fondly remembers. “I really was in my element there. The school taught us to really dig deeper into our identities and to really excel ourselves”.

This was followed by a period of intense activity during which, alongside her professional experiences, Laura, together with her partner Florhyan, developed a brand of textile leather goods, consisting of “a range of fabric handbags that are made in France”. As exciting as this was, it didn’t stop young Laura from still thinking about writing throughout this period, because the magazine she’d started during her time at secondary school, which had been put on hold for several years, was just itching to spread its wings again. And so in August 2020, Bertin, as it is now known, was relaunched. “It’s an online magazine dedicated to fashion and related anecdotes. This isn’t a magazine devoted to shopping but rather to the story behind each trend”. And Bertin certainly has plenty of anecdotes to share: Why is the Marcel called Marcel? Where does the word ‘sneakers’, the Hermès square or the trench coat come from? Who is the famous Miss Dior? Who said “My style is a cocktail. I'm not as glamorous as a Frenchwoman but I don't care like an Englishwoman”. So many questions that had perhaps never occurred to us, but that the magazine cleverly answers in a fun and comprehensive way. “So rich is the history of fashion that there is something about it everyone will find interesting”.

And because Laura is very much aware that fashion is also a business, the former Esmod student had the wonderful idea of creating a series of elegant and fun glossy A4 posters and postcards, reconciling a love of fashion with a love of decor, to really embody the essence of the site. Available from Bertin’s online store, these printed anecdotes are sure to shake things up at your next family gathering, when you explain why the hats have pompoms on them!

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