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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Christian Dior’s Hawaian Pinup Chic

Godfrey Deeny
October 01st, 2010 @ 2:20 PM - Paris

A rusty catwalk, a casting of femme fatales and a melodramatic soundtrack made up the latest take on fashion from Christian Dior, which proposes a trip to histrionic America for its moneyed consumers next spring.

Histrionic, but ultimately it was a happy and cool Christian Dior, where the house’s creative director John Galliano had a “On the Waterfront” style runway and industrial backdrop and a gang of flirty pinup babes who emoted down the runway in Paris on Friday, Oct. 1.

“I was thinking of Bettie Page,” explained Galliano, referring to the Playmate and pinup modeling star of the '50s, whose trademark bangs was the show’s hairstyle.

Many models wore bobby socks on their feet, sweetheart lei flower chains around their necks and sailor's caps - Danny Kaye style in "On the Town" - on their heads, saluting with saucy winks the huge pack of some 300 catwalk photographers, who yelled throughout the show. The mood was slick and perverse, yet always coolly feminine, so it never slipped over into pastiche.

Galliano’s gals went on vacation, especially to Hawaii, in flirty fauna and leaf print dresses cut so low at the back you saw more than the spine.

There was intense security pre-show and not for a head of state, but for Kate Moss, who arrived with about a dozen heavies and personal camera crew with flaring light just seconds before the show kicked off.

Moss sat beside the beaming CEO of Dior Sidney Toledano in a front row with Rachel Bilson and Marisa Berenson.

With skirts ending way up the thigh, and trench coat dresses cut like minis, this was a leggy look, all the better to show off some great new footwear – high-heel espadrilles and woven leather platforms. As were some hot new bags in a sunny island zig-zag print of mustard and blood orange or natty faux big cat skins.

Galliano, legendary for the outfits in which he takes his bow, marched 50 yards down his battered dock runway as a latter day New Orleans pirate in naval officer’s mess jacket and admirals hat, tanned and looking fit enough for a solo Atlantic attempt.

And in a testament to how good the show was, seconds before he appeared the photographers chanted out “John! John! John!” No amateurs when it comes to judging a hit, they cheered on the clothes, Galliano’s unique sense of fashion theatre and this hipster mix of high fashion and fetish. These were images they know people will want to see, and buy.

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