On the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the house of Dior, Assouline is publishing a series of books devoted to the seven designers to have headed the House. After Dior by Christian Dior, in 2016, the second volume, focusing on the founder’s successor, Yves Saint Laurent, will be published in June. The writer and journalist Laurence Benaïm, a specialist in the couturier and also the author of his biography, examines Yves Saint Laurent’s time at the house of Dior, and the six collections he designed there. Documents and photographs from the time mix with contemporary images by Laziz Hamani to offer a snapshot of the inspirations and influences that marked the Dior years from 1958 to 1960.
Armide short evening dress in white tulle embroidered with silver paillettes, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1959, 1960 line. Dior Héritage collection, Paris.
Aurore short evening dress in azure blue silk, Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1958, Trapèzeline. Dior Héritage collection, Paris.
Bonne Conduite dress in granite gray wool, Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1958, Trapèze line. Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent collection, Paris.
Cascade short evening dress in sorbet pink silk tulle embellished with paillettes and beaded fringes, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1959, 1960 line. Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent collection, Paris.
Chicago jacket in black crocodile trimmed with black mink, Haute Couture Autumn Winter 1960, Souplesse, Légèreté, Vie collection. Dior Héritage collection, Paris.
Éléphant Blanc short evening dress in silk tulle embroidered with silver rocailles, strass, and silver thread, Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1958, Trapèzeline. Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent collection, Paris.
Flash ensemble in black wool, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1960, Souplesse, Légèreté, Vie collection. Hamish Bowles private collection.
Medrano short evening dress in deep purple and fuchsia shot-silk taffeta, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1960, Souplesse, Légèreté, Vie collection. Musée des Arts Décoratifs, UFAC collections, Paris. Gift of Mrs. Lydie Chantrell, 1970
Nuit de Grenade reception dress in poppy-print silk taffeta, Haute Couture Spring Summer 1960, Silhouette de Demain collection. Dior Héritage collection, Paris.
Vie de Château long evening dress in olive green velvet with mink trim, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 1959, 1960 line. Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent collection, Paris.
Journalist and writer Laurence Benaïm is the author of Yves Saint Laurent(Grasset, 1993), the biography of reference on the designer, with several updated reeditions. She has devoted several other works to the couturier, including Yves Saint Laurent: Naissance d’une légende (La Marinière, 2002) and Requiem pour Yves Saint Laurent(Grasset, 2010), in addition to Dior: La Révolution du New Look(Rizzoli, 2014) and Femmes en Dior: Portraits d’élégance(Rizzoli, 2015). Benaïm is also the author of the biographies Marie-Laure de Noailles: La Vicomtesse du Bizarre(Grasset, 2001) and Jean-Michel Frank: Le Chercheur de Silence(Grasset, 2017).
A curious and eclectic dreamer, self-taught photographer Laziz Hamani is constantly evolving and challenging himself. Of Berber ancestry, Hamani was born and lives in Paris. Passionate about creating beautiful images, his life is defined by a constant search for aesthetics and meaning. He has worked with prestigious luxury brands and he has collaborated with Assouline Publishing on more than twenty titles. From the finest details of high jewelry to the purity of minimalist design, Hamani aims to bring the viewer into dialogue with the image, to evoke power and beauty through his unique simplicity.
Photos by Laziz Hamani; Courtesy of Dior.