Dior's genteel polish versus tribal Gaultier

28th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - John Galliano for Christian Dior updated polished old-style glamour, harking back to when a woman's shoes, bag, hat and gloves perfectly matched her neatly-belted suit.

PARIS, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - John Galliano for Christian Dior updated polished old-style glamour, harking back to when a woman's shoes, bag, hat and gloves perfectly matched her neatly-belted suit.

At the opposite end of the thematic scale, the Paris winter womenswear catwalks Tuesday also featured memories of punk and the wilds of Scotland at Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood's cave girls.

Britain's Galliano tapped into the legendary French fashion house's style codes to send out a dazzling array of nearly 60 coordinated outfits on models genteelly descending a sweeping staircase.

With its pale decor, the elegant setting, which was actually inside a giant tent in the Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre museum, was reminiscent of a traditional salon of the 60-year-old design house.

Models sauntered up the runway, pausing to strike a pose to the packed audience, their hair coiffed in softly cascading waves, their eyes defined by dramatic eyelashes or boldly-pencilled eyebrows.

They peered demurely from under large raffia hats in ladylike clothes suggestive of the days when elegance meant tightly-cinched waists, funnel skirts or fabrics that skimmed the curves, but not too suggestively.

But Galliano's thoroughly modern take on all that came in high-stacked platforms, clonky lace-ups with column heels, and coordinating furs and fabrics, such as his opening bordeaux python and fur coat paired with a leather skirt.

He introduced sassy details such as folds or panels hanging like short trains off the back of skirts, soft pleating that ran up the body and changed direction on the bust or narrowly stitched for a corset-effect.

Fabrics were draped or gathered with satiny softness. After his summer collection in stormy grey or granite, his winter palette was a burst of fuchsia, mandarine, jade, fern green, as well as pale grey and taupe.

For eveningwear, he revisited the theme of the traditional Japanese art of folding paper, origami, that dominated his spectacular haute couture show in January inspired by a trip to Japan.

Other high-glamour gowns included a hip-swinging, delicately embroidered white bustier dress, worn with long black leather gloves and a choker, which was very Marilyn Monroe.

Amid mist and to bagpipe music, French designer Jean Paul Gaultier favoured yellow or red tartan, woollen shawls and voluminous fur. He said he had wanted to make his winter look "a little bit tribal".

The designer sent out models with feathers in their hair or mohicans, in plaid for a fitted skirt, cinched little dress or roomy long coat, and little purses borrowed from a man's kilt.

At Issey Miyake, new creative director Dai Fujiwara showcased men's and women's collections together that added up to supple and relaxed urban dressing in pleats and refined patterns.

Womenswear included pink leggings and a top with criss-cross straps and tightly bound waist, a soft grey trench coat, denim separates and a forest green dress with cactus spike bordering.

"Power, action, woman -- that's the look," wrote Vivienne Westwood of her autumn-winter 2007-08 ready-to-wear collection, christened "Wake up, Cave Girl!" for the dawn of a new world.

Although its prehistoric theme might have suggested a back-to-basics approach, the construction of the British designer's clothes seemed anything but basic, with exaggerated darts, soft draping and clever cuts.

The collection had range, with knits and skirts, as well as dramatic touches with costume-like swingy capes and Westwood's signature corsets. Garments also came in cut-out shapes like animal skins buttoned together, or in cave prints.

Italy's Valentino, French designer Christian Lacroix and Dries van Noten of Belgium unveil their ready-to-wear collections for next winter here Wednesday. Shows run until Sunday.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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