In this season of designer musical chairs, I got to thinking about fashion legacies. How will these newly unemployed talents fit into the legend of the house they maintained for so many seasons? Looking at Christian Dior which has been in business for six decades and has a fairly long list of designer alumni, it is quite clear that the answer isn’t in time. It seems, to me anyway, that the strength of the association between a designer and their former house has little to do with the length of their employment.
Christian Dior was head designer of his eponymous label for only eleven years when he died unexpectedly in 1957. Yves Saint Laurent is often cited for his work as Dior’s successor, yet was only at the helm for two years. Meanwhile, have you heard of Marc Bohan? I see a lot of lateral head-shaking. He spent 29 years as head designer of Christian Dior – longer than anyone else – and you rarely ever hear any mention of him. It seems that the secret to fashion immortality is in how far you pushed fashion, not for how long.
Below are some examples of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Marc Bohan’s contributions to the Dior label (click to enlarge). Check in tomorrow for the remaining three Dior designers – Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, and Bill Gaytten.
Illustration by Michelle Ricks, Collaged content via L’Officiel
To be continued…