Michèle Rosier

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Michèle Lazareff Rosier (French pronunciation: ​[miʃɛl ʁozje]; 3 June 1930 – 2 April 2017)[1][2] was a French fashion journalist and designer who founded the V de V sportswear label. In addition to this, she worked as a film director and screenwriter since 1973.

Early life and education[edit]

Born Michèle Lazareff in 1930, her parents were the journalist Hélène Gordon-Lazareff (1909–1988) and her first husband. Michèle was then adopted by Pierre Lazareff (1907–1972), with whom Gordon-Lazareff remarried. Her two parents founded Elle magazine.[3] Aged 10, she was the first child to read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a close friend of her parents.[4]

She studied at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York.[3]


Lazareff Rosier started out as a journalist for her father's daily paper, France Soir before becoming chief editor of the magazine Le Nouveau Femina.[1]


In the early 1960s Rosier founded V de V (which stands for Vêtements de Vacance, or 'Holiday Wear'). She also designed for at least two other lines: dresses for Chloe D'Alby,[5] and a line of affordable furs called Monsieur Z which included pink and blue dyed rabbit fur coats.[3] However, her V de V designs, including both fashionable sportswear and activewear such as swimwear and ski-wear, were very successful. She was noted as an early adopter of vinyl and stretch fabrics, with one New York reporter commenting in 1965 on the close similarity between her two-colour jersey dresses and Yves Saint Laurent's subsequent Mondrian dresses.[3] Due to her love of plastics, she was nicknamed the "Vinyl Girl,"[6] and has been credited with introducing vinyl to Paris fashion before André Courrèges,[5] to whom she was compared by the International Herald Tribune for her "style without nostalgia."[6] She has also been credited with being the first designer to deliberately use outsize industrial zippers.[5] A contemporary press piece in 1968 ranked Rosier alongside Emmanuelle Khanh and Christiane Bailly as part of a "new race" of innovative and exciting young French designers, described as "stylists who work for ready-to-wear."[7]

Rosier, herself a keen skier, produced particularly distinctive ski-wear whose streamlined design was in stark contrast to previous models.[8] In 1966 Eugenia Sheppard proclaimed that Rosier's slimline skiwear had "defeated the old-time bulky teddy-bear look".[5] Other suits were made in quilted nylon velvet and vivid colours with detachable face panels such as the one featured on the front cover of Sports Illustrated magazine for 13 November 1967.[9] She offered helmets with rotating green-to-clear visors (designed by Monique Dofny)[10] and her "stainless steel" and silver suits in nylon and lurex were described as "pure James Bond,"[3] and having "cosmic flair."[11]

Rosier also designed for White Stag in the USA,[12] and Jaeger in the UK. One of her clear PVC raincoats for Young Jaeger was chosen by Ernestine Carter as part of the Dress of the Year for 1966, along with a Simone Mirman hat and a Young Jaeger black and white dress.[13] She designed parachute jumpsuits for Raquel Welch to wear in the 1967 film Fathom.[14]

In 1988, V de V was purchased by Sergio Tacchini.[15]


Since 1973 Rosier worked as a film director and screenwriter for French-language cinema. Her first two films George Who?, a biography of George Sand, and Mon coeur est rouge (Paint my Heart Red), which deals with a female market researcher, have been described as feminist.[16] She then produced television documentaries before returning to films with Embrasse-moi (1989).[16]

As producer, director & writer[edit]

  • Mon coeur est rouge aka Paint my Heart Red(1976)

As director & writer[edit]

  • George qui? aka George Who? (1973)
  • Embrasse-moi (1989)
  • Pullman paradis (1995)
  • Malraux, tu m'étonnes! (2001)

Director only[edit]

  • Ah! La libido (2009)

Television documentaries[edit]

  • Le Futur des Femmes (1975)
  • La Demoiselle aux Oiseaux (1976)
  • Mimi (1979)
  • Un Café Un! (1981)
  • Le Gros Départ (1982)
  • Botaniques (series of five short documentaries, 1982)


  1. ^ a b Rège, Philippe (2010). Encyclopedia of French film directors. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 882. ISBN 9780810869394. 
  2. ^ "Mort de la cinéaste et styliste Michèle Rosier". La Croix (in French). 4 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Parisienne Pioneers Pop Style". The Montreal Gazette. HTNS. 14 September 1965. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Wakeman, Alan; Blegvad, Erik (March 1995). "Seeing with the Heart". Books for Keeps (91). Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Sheppard, Eugenia (6 Feb 1965). "They're Stars of Ready-to-Wear". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Steele, Valerie (1997). Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look To Now. Yale University Press, New Haven & London. p. 64. ISBN 0-300-07132-9. 
  7. ^ "Les couturiers refont fortune". L'Express. 26 February 1968. p. 29. 
  8. ^ Lynam, Ruth (1972). Couture; an illustrated history of the great Paris designers and their creations. London: Doubleday. p. 245. ISBN 0385069553. 
  9. ^ "Most Popular". CNN. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "To Make Alps More Scenic". LIFE. 60 (7): 99. 18 Feb 1966. 
  11. ^ Lipovetsky, Gilles; Porter, Catherine (2002). The empire of fashion : dressing modern democracy (third printing. ed.). Woodstock: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691102627. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Smith, Fred R. (November 13, 1967). "Where To Buy". Sports Illustrated. 
  13. ^ Fashion Museum, Bath. "Dress of the Year: 1963 - 1969". Fashion Museum, Bath. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Reid, John Howard (2009). 20th Century-Fox : CinemaScope 2. [Morrisville, NC]: Lulu Press. p. 75. ISBN 9781411622487. 
  15. ^ "unknown". L'Espresso. 34 (8-12): 291. SERGIO TACCHINI, ex campione di tennis e imprenditore nel settore dell'abbigliamento, ha acquistato l'80 per cento della società francese V de V. 
  16. ^ a b Tarr, Carrie; Rollet, Brigitte (2001). Cinema and the second sex : women's filmmaking in France in the 1980s and 1990s. New York: Continuum. pp. 45–46. ISBN 9780826447425. 


  • Lydia Kamitsis, Michèle Rosier, Paris, Editions du Regard, 2014, 136 p. (ISBN 9782841053230)