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By
AFP
Published
Mar 6, 2009
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Galliano's magic carpet ride to the opulent Orient

By
AFP
Published
Mar 6, 2009

PARIS, March 6, 2009 (AFP) - John Galliano unfurled his magic carpet to transport his audience to the opulent Orient at his show for Dior for next autumn-winter on Friday.



Rich brocades in luminous gemstone shades of ruby red and amethyst, harem pant ensembles with jewel-encrusted bibs, delicate filigree silver and gold threadwork and paisley prints, summoned up the decadence depicted by the Persian miniaturists.

No pyrotechnics or showmanship this season, just unadulterated luxury as an antidote to the harsh realities of world recession.

Dior classic tailoring was given an oriental twist. Contours were softened and rounded, like the cocoon-shaped sleeves of a boat-necked coat and the ample bands of fur which trimmed necklines, hems and sleeves, short and long alike.

The new favourite skirt shape came gently gathered, pulled into a band of varying width.

Models wore their hair plastered down under shiny gilt Juliet caps which perfectly matched their fly-away flapper dresses in scissor pleating and ruffled silk chiffon.

Galliano, the ringmaster par excellence, took his bow in a top hat and frockcoat, to applause from the packed marquee in the Luxembourg gardens.

Vivienne Westwood, who traditionally uses her shows as a platform to push her political views, chose the slogan "+5" for her Tee shirts next winter, a grim reminder that Earth's temperature is set to rise by five degrees.

But a more relevant message for these hard-pressed times was her idea of "do-it-yourself" clothes and an injunction to "buy less."

In her programme notes she suggested buying outsize jackets to double up as coats, wearing cardigans back to front instead of sweaters, and winding metres of raw cut material into cloaks.

Her collection, along these lines, was full of her characteristic unconventional pairings of staid chalk stripe suiting with felted wools, shrunken lace and distressed velvet, with flashes of tartan and stiff pink netting for ballet tutus, tilted vertically over tattoo-effect leggings.

Dai Fujiwara's show for Issy Miyake celebrated the beauty and efficiency of movement of martial arts, with four masters of karate-kata invited to demonstrate their skills and prove the house's specially conceived pants suits up to the rigours of their sport.

In between exercises involving high kicks and karate chops, accompanied by blood curdling screams, the models emerged in street-friendly versions using the same techniques and high-tech fabrics.

The house's trademark pleating was adapted to give extra stretch and movement to pants, some slim and tapered, with low crotches, others ballooning out like harem pants. Pearly grey pants suits had contrasting shocking pink or brick red cuffs on the jacket and trousers.

The same red, inspired by Japanese lacquer work, was used for supple, draped dresses and cropped tops which moulded round the body.

For evening Fujiwara showed fluttering frocks constructed from multi-layered superimposed squares of a striped, glazed polyester, in orange, yellow, and turquoise.by Sarah Shard

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