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It's Downtown for Dior

PARIS, March 1, 2005 - High commerce is a concept never very far beneath the surface at Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear these days, and Tuesday's show was ironically titled "But what do stars wear when they're not working?" Going shopping was clearly the idée fixe, and there were any number of items to toss in the cart.

The fall Dior collection was a reworking of some of the themes from January's couture show - namely parkas, tailcoats and empire trenches crafted of chestnut-colored sheepskin and astrakan, but the overall effect was much more convincing. This was one of the finest shows from John Galliano in recent years, and just goes to prove that glamour is timeless.

With a piano rendition of Petula Clark's "Downtown" for accompaniment, you got the idea that Rodeo Drive was probably the destination of choice, a place where Diana Ross, Julianne Moore and Marianne Faithful would feel as welcome as they were on the front row. For his own catwalk appearance, John seemed to draw inspiration from Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal Video, or at least so observed an astute 20-year-old Fashionista, au courant with the genre.

Sydney Toledano, CEO of Dior Couture, was equally impressed, telling Agence France Presse that things were going very well, though he refused to comment on negotiations over the designer's contract, which comes to term in 2005.


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