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PFW: Dior delivers a 'defiantly luxe' look for fall

March 7, 2009 |  5:14 pm

PARIS -- Christian Dior's customer isn't hurting, certainly not from the look of the fall collection John Galliano showed for the house on Thursday. In fact, the company's CEO Sidney Toledano told WWD recently that Rage_dior the brand is amping up its luxury quotient in the face of the recession and seeing growth because of it.

Galliano has been revisiting the house's design signatures for a few seasons now, to the delight of that other first lady fashion icon Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. For fall, Galliano chose the house's iconic T-bar jacket as a starting point for elegantly tailored skirt suits, many trimmed in fur.

The T-bar jacket, which emphasizes a woman's hourglass shape with hip padding, was a key component of Dior's 1947 New Look. That collection celebrated the end of World War II shortages with exuberant full skirts and jackets requiring much yardage.

Galliano's defiantly luxe, New New Look came across like a middle finger to the financial crisis and the democratization of luxury that has driven the fashion industry for the last decade.  It was a call to those who still have money to dress up and spend, spend, spend....

In Dior gray, red or black, with lace or fur-edged collars and cuffs, the curvaceous jackets topped skirts that were full over the hips and nipped in at the hems.

There was an Orientalist spirit to ikat jacquard coats with silk knot closures, harem pants and diaphanous dresses in paisley prints.

For evening, long chiffon gowns with Empire waists or smocked details, and Indian-inspired embroideries, struck a 1920s vibe, especially on models with hair coaxed into bobs using dozens of bobby pins.

Galliano certainly wasn't entering any new territory here. But this isn't really the time for that. The collection was safe and sellable, even if it was a little dowdy.

--Booth Moore 

Fall 2009 Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano for Christian Dior

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A look from the John Galliano for Christian Dior fall collection shown during Paris Fashion Week on March 6, 2009. Credit: Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images.