Model and muse of Christian Dior In his 1957 autobiography, Monsieur Dior wrote that when you arrived at his fashion house, there was a storm of criticism ... Your most memorable times with him? Well, he was always very refined and elegant. One day, I walked into the studio. It was late and there was nobody there. Then I heard somebody singing – it was Christian. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and was in the midst of shaving. I saw that he had a hairy chest, something I never expected. It’s such a funny memory. What’s it like being a muse to so many? I didn’t know I was a muse. I was just living my own life, as a model. When Christian died, it was a shock to me. I’d lost a father figure. What do you think have been the biggest changes at Dior since Raf Simons? There were no changes per se; Dior continued to evolve naturally. What’s extraordinary with Raf Simons is he has the same sensitivity Christian had. He really likes women; he wants them to be beautiful and sexy, in the most modern of ways. Is the Dior of today something you imagined it would become? When you’re young, you don’t think that things will ever change. The evolution of fashion reflects the evolution of life, society, and even the fabrics used. Then there’s modern technology – there are a lot of elements evolving today. Your thoughts on fashion today? Well, haute couture is a different world. I don’t think much about the fast fashion on the street. Most important lesson you’ve learned? From Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, I learned good taste, and to know what beauty really is.
Doutreleau with Monsieur Dior at the Dior Haute Couture Autumn/ Winter 1954 show