François Lesage, head of the decades-old embroidery house famed for its expert couture craftsmanship, has died today at the age of 82. The man behind creations including Yves Saint Laurent's six-figure 1988 'Van Gogh' jackets, John Galliano's thousand-hour embroidered dresses (yes, plural, such as the Spring/Summer 2011 number above) for Christian Dior, and Christian Lacroix's most lavish couture fantasies, the house of Lesage is a fixture of the Paris fashion firmament, known for working not only with contemporary couture giants but true fashion legends including Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Dior himself. For all his decades of dedication to his craft, Monsieur Lesage was not without humour - when he read that Alexander McQueen had called his work 'constipated', he directed the bad boy of haute couture to sit on the toilet for ten minutes before showing him samples for his inaugural Givenchy collection. The elaborate, embroidery-encrusted coats and ball gowns that characterised the drama of McQueen's Givenchy tenure bear witness to the friendship that quickly blossomed. With Monsieur Lesage's death, fashion has lost a true legend.