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Conservative collection by Dior

Conservative collection by Dior a detour from backstage drama.

THE drama behind the scenes failed to upstage the delights on the runway at the Christian Dior show during Paris Fashion Week.

Ladylike below-the-knee silk skirts and jackets with bracelet sleeves belted at the waist were among the highlights of the ballet-inspired show that comprised a confident – if conservative – remix of Dior classics. “It’s still very Christian Dior but cleaned up and still very elegant,” the designer, Bill Gaytten, said backstage yesterday.

The structure of Christian Dior’s sculptural gowns was reinterpreted via sheer panels and floor-sweeping skirts in the show at the Rodin Museum in Paris.

Houndstooth was reworked on pale pink and ink navy coats and jackets, and masculine tailoring of the house was softened with a dance-influenced element in the form of cozy cross-over jackets worn with tutu-like floaty skirts in a palette of ballet-pink, pale grey and ice blue.

The theme chimed with the front-row presence of the Black Swan star and Dior ambassador Mila Kunis, who was joined at the pointy end of the runway by the model Natalia Vodianova.

For evening, bodices were leotard-like and featured jewels or sequined capelets that sparkled above cocoon-like skirts.

Former ballet dancer turned model Karlie Kloss closed the show with a diaphanous floor-length pleated grape gown with an asymmetrical panel at the bust.

Gaytten has been acting designer at Dior for almost exactly a year since the disgraced John Galliano was ousted for making anti-Semitic slurs.

According to the industry bible Women’s Wear Daily, finding a Galliano successor may no longer be on the agenda. Sources told the publication that because of commercial – but not unanimously critical – success under the acting designer , Dior was “mulling continuing with a team approach, possibly adding some young, up-and-coming talents.”

Until just a couple of days ago, it was believed that the Belgian-born Raf Simons would be the permanent successor to the French luxury house, following his exit from Jil Sander during Milan Fashion Week.

After a previously critically panned collection, yesterday’s show was safe rather than superlative but nonetheless received a warm reception from a cheering audience.

The reporter travelled to Paris courtesy of Australian Wool Innovation.

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