2009 July 7
(PARIS) Christian Dior
Unwinding the myriad of ideas presented in a Dior collection is the greatest pleasure of experiencing the show. For Fall/Winter 2009/2010, John Galliano returned to the Maison Dior for a salon-style runway show after many seasons of showing off-site. This was no budget-saving measure--rather, Galliano dug very deep into the DNA of Dior couture and realized that this particular art requires a particular presentation. On that note, models took to the runway very, very slowly, taking many opportunities to stop, pose, show off a leather glove, gesture to a diamond earring, and otherwise preen to the crowd. Even the most world-weary show-goers paused and admired the extraordinary craftsmanship that makes Dior's art so unique and valuable.
The first look consisted of a drop-dead gorgeous fuchsia jacket, molded and belted to perfection, worn with a flesh-toned girdle and collants. Entirely dressed from the waist up, Galliano seemed to play with the notion of single-item shopping. Hey, if you can only buy one thing...but that commercial approach wasn't really the idea at all. Instead, the lingerie evolved and gradually emerged as a key piece. Tightly-laced corsets peeked from the back of prim wool frocks, while lace-trimmed silk slips dangled underneath museum-quality skirt. Who needs a top when a nude soutien-gorge suits a ball gown so much better? This collection was all about foundations, but it refused to cater to washed-up classics. Even leopard print, a house staple, was stunningly reworked as a floor-grazing sash to a white chiffon goddess gown. A thigh-high, a bondage shoe, and a suite of diamond jewelry made for an inspired seasonal starting point that's bound to reverberate in the world of ready-to-wear. As the fashion world reconsiders what, exactly, couture is selling, Galliano suggests that it's neither an idea nor an item. Chez Dior, couture offers a singular look at the art of living. Surely today, everyone saw the value in that.
The Armani client deserves a bit of rock and roll, n'est-ce pas? At the Privé show, Mr. Armani showed a collection with a bit of sass. The trouser-centric take on evening dressing provides couture week with one of its recurring themes, and this season, the idea became jazzed up with a healthy dose of attitude. The pagoda shoulder made several cameos on tuxedo jackets, which were paired with a looser version of the straight-leg and tapered trousers Mr. Armani has toyed with recently. The rhinestone embellishment found on most looks in the form of an asymmetrical zipper or even a v-necked bodice made everything a little more rollicking. Front-row guests Cate Blanchett and Megan Fox represented two distinct sides of la vie privée--one respectively classic, the other endowed with a bit of a wild side. An animalier motif provided alternative daywear options, most memorably in an unstructured car coat. A series of 4 entirely jeweled pantsuits closed the show, underscoring Armani's insistence on his own particular brand of innovation.
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