Francois Lesage, master embroiderer, dies aged 82

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Francois Lesage, a master embroiderer who for decades crafted exquisite pieces for haute couture giants from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, has died aged 82, his workshop said on Thursday.

The doyen of French embroiderers, a central figure in the high fashion world, died in a hospital near his home in Versailles outside Paris on Wednesday night following a "long illness", the Lesage workshop told AFP.

Lesage took over his father's firm aged just 20. In an interview last year, he told AFP how he met Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix, "when they were just beginners."

Last week Lesage was awarded the title of "art master" by the French culture ministry, giving him an opportunity to "say goodbye", said a spokeswoman for his workshop, which was acquired by Chanel in 2002.

© 2011 AFP

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