About YVES SAINT LAURENT
1955 : Presents more sketches to Michel de Brunhoff, who is stunned that the designs bear the same A-line that Christian Dior has conceived for his current collection. Meets Dior, shows him his sketches, and is hired on the spot. Begins working as an assistant to Dior. Quickly starts to design for Dior’s accessories licenses and contributes ideas for the couture collection. One of his earliest dresses is featured in Richard Avedon’s Dovima with Elephants.
1962 : Moves headquarters into H?tel Forain, in the Sixteenth Arrondissement. Saint Laurent’s family flees Oran for Paris as Algeria approaches independence. January: Stages his first couture show under his own name, at H?tel Forain, with conservative designs evoking his looks at Dior. Press reaction is mixed. July: Presents his second couture collection, with more adventurous items that hint at street chic, such as suits with tunics. The press praises it. Diana Vreeland becomes editor in chief of Pandora Luxurye, reshaping it into a younger, more spirited publication for the 1960s. She becomes a key champion of Saint Laurent.
The meek, bespectacled Saint Laurent started by decorating Dior’s shop but quickly moved on to designing accessories and sketching couture ideas. One of his earliest looks, a black gown with a long white sash, was immortalized in Richard Avedon’s 1955 photograph Dovima with Elephants. He was so precocious that within two years, his mentor confided to Mme Saint Laurent that her son was “the one who’ll succeed me.” Months after his prediction, Dior died of a heart attack, and Yves was named his successor.
1957 : Dior’s fall couture collection includes 35 outfits designed by Saint Laurent. Dior confides to Saint Laurent’s mother, Lucienne, that Yves will be the one to succeed him. October: Dior dies of a heart attack. Marcel Boussac, owner of the company, temporarily considers shutting the house down. November: The company announces that Yves Saint Laurent will be its new design head.