Yves Saint Laurent was hired was hired as Christian Dior’s assistant designer in June 1955. When Dior suddenly died in 1957 — even though he had expressed a desire for Saint Laurent to succeed him — the fashion house’s management was initially hesitant about putting its empire, which by then accounted for more than half of all French haute couture exports, in the hands of a 21-year-old.
However, the success of Saint Laurent’s debut Spring-Summer 1958 collection reassured the directors. Saint Laurent’s Trapeze line — illustrated here by the Vacances Day Dress — freed the waist, heralding the liberated spirit of the 1960s.
Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum as Part of the Exhibit Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which runs through January 2022.