2007 July 2

Christian Dior - Couture Paris 2007

(NEW YORK) A bold, ravishing spectacle of operatic proportions, Galliano's latest vision marked a monumental breakthrough, both in terms of his own career and couture alike. Inspired by a trip he took last October to Japan, where he visited Osaka and Kyoto, among other cities, the designer described the show "origami meets Madame Butterfly." A triumph of outsize construction, conical skirts the size of rickshaws were covered in cascading layers of fabric folded every which way, while tidal waves of fabric billowed lighter than clouds. |page| Details were dizzyingly intense; vast swatches of fabric were overlaid with scenes from classic Japanese art or transformed with shining embroidery, while the twists and turns of one particularly dimension-defying skirt appeared to be covered in stained glass. Of course, this being Galliano, there was a sense of humor to it all; models were all given Japanese-style monikers like Sakura-San, Youki-San, and Pooh-Bah-San; Irina Lazarneau, in a crocodile cocktail suit, was named Cri-Cri-San. But there was no denying the grandeur as thousands of white papier maché butterflies poured out from above, |page| covering the designer, dressed as an admiral (perhaps Commodore Perry?) as he swaggered out to join his creations. Fashion is only as vibrant as the minds that make it work; when your imagination's got scope to spare, bigger is indeed better.