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Paris Fashion Week: A cleaner House of Dior, this spring from Galliano

October 3, 2009 |  6:00 am
Christian dior Long gone are the days when John Galliano was a provocateur at Christian Dior. The most theatrical moment at his show Friday was a fake shootout staged in the shadows at the top of the runway, setting the scene for the Lauren Bacall-styled femmes fatales who were about to emerge. But a world recession is not necessarily the time to indulge in a runway fantasy collection. Besides, Galliano has been on a grown-up path for a while now.

The star of his film noir was the trench coat, which came long and short, beautifully executed in lamé, python or leather, with soft peplums or without, worn with sheer beaded skirts or metallic jeans. The classic, waist-cinching, Dior Bar jacket was present and accounted for too, in Prince of Wales check or leather, topping coquettish tap shorts. Then there were lacy slip gowns in a rainbow of colors, combining corset bodices, supple draping and a sprinkling of sparkle. Their sheer skirts had linings with trompe l'oeil effects to resemble thigh-high stockings. (So no need to give up the Spanx.)

That was as racy as the collection got, but in a season like this one, it was refreshing to see a little restraint. This show may have been a bit of a non-event, but what it did do is reiterate that Dior, like Chanel, is a destination for real women looking for complete wardrobes. Of course, the house has Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the first lady of France, to thank for that too.

-- Booth Moore

Photos: Christian Dior spring-summer 2010 runway

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Photo: Christian Dior's spring-summer 2010 runway show. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times