Vintage Dior: Fashion Show at Blenheim Palace, 1958
In 1958, Yves Saint Laurent at just 21 years old and having taken over design duties from Christian Dior the previous year, presented the house's winter collection at Blenheim palace to Princess Margaret for some reason, a guest of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. The event was to benefit the British Red Cross as the 1650 guests paid 5 guineas each. (That is old English currency, I live in England and I've never heard of it!)
The models were referred to then as 'mannequins', the French word for model (which the English narrator pronounces 'mannakaah').
The narration from this era never fails to entertain. From the film of the event: "A short evening gown with chic and style such as only the house of Dior - according to the house of Dior - can give." And at the end "Dior himself is...dead. But in the world of haute couture, it's 'The king is dead, long live the king..."
Are you seeing the awesome eyeball stand-off between those two girls in front?
I like to research things a bit and I came across this newspaper clipping from The Age, November 6, 1954. Now, as the headline suggests, Dior came to Blenheim Palace four years earlier. But it was actually Christian Dior who designed and accompanied the haute couture collection which debuted his famous 'H' line - a slender tunic suit with a slim skirt that later became more of a dropped waist tubular twenties style dress with a hemline that was creeping upwards.