For almost thirty years, from 1961 to 1989, Marc Bohan designed for the House and asserted his vision of elegance in an outpouring of creativity.
In the spring of 1957, this lover of opera, painting and German literature met Christian Dior who offered him the position of artistic director of the American subsidiary; but the couturier died before the contract was signed. Instead, he joined the London branch in 1958. He would eventually be named artistic director of the House in September 1960. Succeeding Yves Saint Laurent, the couturier refined the lines, lengthened the silhouette and defined a look of dynamic femininity, freed of all constraints. With its bias-cut skirts, natural shoulders and dropped waist, the Slim Look was born! “Don’t forget the woman!” he noted in 1963 in Vogue. Highly attentive to new ways of living, in 1967 he launched the Miss Dior line of fashion that was upbeat, easy to wear, and in step with the social and aesthetic revolution that saw the emancipation of women and youth. This liberated spirit also proved a powerful inspiration to Maria Grazia Chiuri for her autumn-winter 2018-2019 ready-to-wear collection, an homage to May ‘68.
In 1984, Marc Bohan celebrated Abstract Expressionism with a series of dresses evoking the drip technique of the American painter Jackson Pollock. Whether painting-dress or sculpture-dress, they gave a nod to the passions of Christian Dior — architecture and art — which he also shared. Just like the founding couturier, for Bohan the female body was the starting point in sculpting a look through the cut and choice of materials.
Documented by the words of the journalist Jérôme Hanover who interviewed him, and illustrated by archival images and the spare snapshots by photographer Laziz Hamani, this book highlights the designer’s inspirations and over the course of the pages traces the character traits of an insatiably curious man. Throughout his thirty years heading the House’s creative direction Marc Bohan never lost sight of his objective: “To make sophisticated clothes with simplicity, and a touch of insolence every now and then.”
Dior by Marc Bohan, Rizzoli, 496 pages.
Third book in the series of seven devoted to the House’s designers.
Published mid-Avril in France and April 20th in the United States.
RRP: €185 / $195