06 March 2010

AW10 PFW Report: Christian Dior

A crack of thunder and flash of lightning and then the sounds of galloping horses hooves and driving rain - this was the soundtrack that heralded the start of the Christian Dior A/W 2010 show.  As the lights came up and the set - the grand 20 foot high door and imposing marble pillars of an old English country pile - became visible, the crowd including Charlize Theron, Lou Doillon, Natalia Vodianova and Leigh Lezark, bristled with excitement.  All the signs were there that was going to be an epic Dior show.

The theme - in case we hadn't guessed already - was the hunt, a favourite of John Galliano's, and a continuation from the couture show held in January.  Karlie Kloss opened the show, strutting out in a leather riding cape thrown over a wisp of a chiffon dress and thigh high boots - a theme that was played out in various forms throughout the collection.  Some looks took on masculine elements - riding britches or cropped jodhpurs worn with neatly cropped Spencer jackets and waistcoats, topped off with a tweed flat cap, worn at a jaunty angle. Some were utterly feminine; flirty floral chiffon dresses with lace garters.  But the most successful looks, encompassed both elements; a spriggy-printed short ruffled dress under a butter-soft aged leather riding jacket, cut neat at the waist with a waterfall collar, or a nude broderie anglaise gown worn under a chocolate suede frock coat.  The collection had an unapologetically decadent feel to it and was sexy as hell. The clothes were undone, and the models’ hair - either in long single plaits or coiffed up dos was unkempt and dishevelled,  gave the impression that they had just arrived back from an invigorating ride (or possibly a liaison with a stable boy)…  But that was just the styling.  Dior customers will be thrilled with this collection - it offers them the best the house has to offer; impeccable tailoring, charming day dresses and gowns with serious ‘wow’ factor.

The finale of the show was Galliano’s traditionally over-the-top and camp curtain call. The lights went out, the wind and the rain started howling again, and the we could just make out his silhouette leaning dramatically on one of those columns dressed in a frilly shirt and tight britches tucked into riding boots.  Swaggering down the catwalk to rapturous applause he looked very pleased with him self indeed.  As well he might, as it certainly was an epic Dior show.

- Siobhan Mallen in Paris


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