Dior kicks off Paris couture

John Galliano attracts the A-list for decadence at Dior

Credit crunch, what credit crunch? All talk of the recession disappeared from the thoughts of Paris’s stylistas yesterday, as they turned their attention to the most decadent event of the season: couture fashion week.
 
Although some may suggest that couture atelier is no longer relevant to today’s society, particuarly in the current climate, John Galliano stood up as the poster boy for the art yesterday, telling WWD, ‘Of course I’m sensitive to the economy… But [dealing with it] is not my job. My job is to do the best I can to show the possibilities of Dior. ‘

And so he did, showing a collection influenced by New Look extravagance and Dior’s rich archives, against a palette of cornflower blues and golds taken from the paintings of Vermeer. Crinoline gowns in voluminous shapes and structured cuts stormed the catwalk, adorned in intricate beading, embroidery and billowing layers of corsage, ruffles and pleating.

It was a look of pure indulgence.

Attracting the day’s most star-studded line-up, Mischa Barton, Marion Cotillard, Kanye West and the eternally glamorous Dita Von Teese all took their place on Galliano’s front row.

But Dior was not the only big name lighting up the Paris runways yesterday, with Giorgio Armani showing his Privé collection last night.

Described as an ode to China, Armani went East sartorially, filling his collection with dramatic pagoda shoulders, rich lacquer reds and oriental florals.

The East has long been an influnece for Armani, as has his legions of celebrity fans – think Heidi Klum, Katie Holmes and Anne Hathaway – who have all slipped into his high octane gowns.

This season they were certainly catered for, and you can expect to see intricate strapless gowns take their place on Hollywood’s most influential catwalk next month: the 2009 Oscars.

SEE ALL THE STARS ON THE FRONT ROWS HERE

SEE ALL THE ARMANI PRIVE CATWALK PICS HERE

SEE ALL THE DIOR CATWALK PICS HERE

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