Haute Couture Autumn winter 06 07

by Timothy Hagy
Photos by Yannis Vlamos

PARIS, July 5, 2006 - Somewhere between the Moon and a Florentine Garden, John Galliano's latest fantasies played themselves out in a broiling black tent set up on the lawn of the Paris Polo Club in the Bois de Bologne. Couture, at least as it’s come to be understood Chez Dior, is all about a show, and that was what delivered on Wednesday afternoon, the opening day of the fall season.

The pieces of chain-link armor that passed down the runway reminded you not so much of the heroine of a medieval love story as they did a Crusader-Drag Queen, if such a thing can be imagined. Of course it was all over the top (up to and including the crystal tiaras and lobster hat), but that was the point.

The sheer majesty of the plastic dresses wrapped up like bows, or the billowing folds of a gown imprinted with a golden astrological calendar may have hearkened back to the Renaissance as a reference point, but the selling point was the here and now. The theatrical costumes sent down the catwalk will be distilled into more practical ensembles, and more importantly accessories, all destined to fill Dior boutiques worldwide.

None of this is to denigrate John’s talent, nor the wizardry of the Dior couture atelier, but simply put - business is business. Dior has the financial capital to invest in any number of extravaganzas, and so when John appeared on the runway dressed as an astronaut, you had to kind of wonder if they were next planning on flying him to the moon.

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