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At Dior Homme, Pure Elegance Is Back In Style

Editor's Note: 40th Superbowl Has High Fashion Moment
February 6, 2006 - Who would have imagined that the millions of beer drinking fans would have been treated to a glittering moment of high fashion at half time of the 40th Superbowl? But there was Mick Jagger, gyrating on an elaborate stage set up in Ford Stadium in Detroit, dressed head to foot in Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane. He was wearing a black sequined embroided tailor coat with a silver sequined embroided black silk shirt.

PARIS, January 31, 2006 - By the time a floating string trio had finished accompanying the finale of tuxedo-clad boys, Hedi Slimane had produced his most polished collection yet for Dior Homme. The white tie, black tail affair hearkened back to his final collection for Yves Saint Laurent in 2000, but what a difference six years have made. The intricately tailored pieces shown on the final day of the Paris men's season rose to the level of haute couture - a milestone collection that cemented Hedi's reputation as a master of the art of fashion design.

You could find beauty almost everywhere: in floating tails and oversized trousers that seemed to ripple magically down the catwalk, in open vests with a button back design that fluttered in an invisible breeze, in a magnificent rustling cape. Motion was the key. It transformed dark and brooding tailcoats, a rust-tinged fox fur, a rhinestone-encrusted bolero and any number of other creations, distilling them to nothing short of pure elegance. These clothes transcended the codes that separate the sexes and rose like music.

Perhaps that's why so many stars are attracted to Hedi's clothes.

Jeanne Moreau spoke to the point as she sheepishly opened a trench coat to reveal a sparkling lurex jacket. "See," she said. "It's not just for men."'

British actress Charlotte Rampling, who was conducting an interview in fluent French, added her own thoughts. "I'm not wearing Dior Homme today because I've been filming in Berlin, but believe me my closet is full."

Karl Lagerfeld, arriving in a short-tailed Dior Homme jacket, tie pinned with a diamond brooch, said "Of course I'm wearing Hedi's clothes. I wouldn't be seen in anything else!"

Pierre Bergé (cofounder of the House of Yves Saint Laurent) sat along side Betty Catroux (Saint Laurent's muse), Bernard and Hélène Arnault (CEO and First Lady of LVMH), and Sydney Toledano (President of Dior Couture).

The show began with a burst of flames that leapt from the backdrop and ended with a protracted standing ovation.

Backstage, Hedi posed for photographs with Catherine Deneuve, and then explained to a somewhat flustered fashion editor, "I really can't explain it."

Hedi's thin, thin British models mingled, while the fashion crowd quickly dispersed into a gathering Paris night, flittering like moths in a burst of brilliant light.

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