Le Louvre boutique here in Melbourne has long been considered a jewel in the crown of the cities fashion offering. In 1923, at the age of 20, Ms Edith Lillian Wightman opened her the doors to Le Louvre in Howey Place and never looked back.
Think about that for just a moment – here was a girl from Ballarat who’d left school at 15 to take on an apprenticeship at GHV Thomas in Melbourne. Five years later she was ready to open her own atilier and after loaning 100 pounds from her father to buy two sewing machines, she managed the rest. This was at a time when most women were expected to leave school, marry and be content in the role of motherhood and not much beyond it.
Her grit and determination to go it her own way, is testament to the fact that 94 years later Le Louvre still stands proud as one of Melbourne premier international fashion boutiques.
Le Louvre: The Woman Behind The Icon by Cassy Liberman is the story of Lillian Wightman and her daughter Georgina Weir’s journey with Le Louvre, from its very beginnings to where it stands today.
Illustrated by Mark Schaller, the book would make a great souvenir of the city if you are visiting and interested in its fashion history. I know when I’m travelling I love to bring home books about the places I’ve visited in my area of interest – art, fashion, design and culture. I’ve been carting books home from around the world since I can remember, and I love to look back and remember where I was when I bought it.
I digress, it’s a beautiful book in and of itself but the story is also a fascinating look at an inspiring woman and her very fashionable legacy.