Dior Couture Leaves Critics Beside Themselves

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Photo: Imaxtree

When the Christian Dior collection walked yesterday, the first thing that struck us was the lack of pants, occasional absence of top, and see-through skirts. Lady Gaga's pantsless fashions had become high fashion — haute couture fashion. With shirtlessness also in full force, the trend had managed to migrate above the waist. It was a melding of the past and future. We've seen underwear as outerwear on the runways before. Galliano has also made jackets the focal point of past Dior couture collections. Pretty soon, we thought, we won't even be wearing clothes. We'll just walk out the door naked with only a few strategically placed items of foliage. It would be the ultimate in retro fashions — a return to our Neanderthal roots. PETA will become PETAAP (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Plants). Shop-A-Matic editor Diana Tsui will have to compile "Plants: And Where You Can Scavenge Them." Perhaps we've thought too much about this, but so have the critics.

• Cathy Horyn loved the collection. She called the jackets "the strong part of the collection." She especially liked the long-sleeve red silk coat dress, and found the hats by Stephen Jones "marvelous." And as for the long, massive tulle skirts at the end, she wrote, "longer lengths now seem as annoying as Rapunzel’s hair. Oh, just chop it off." [NYT]

• Sarah Mower felt relieved the show took place in Dior's headquarters in the Avenue Montaigne, which prevented Galliano from using "deafening music" and "extravagant sets." She was not bothered that the show was yet another rehash of Dior's New Look: "Nothing particularly novel, or even mildly shocking, but Galliano turned that to his advantage. It's a moment when reemphasizing house values is a wise tactical move." [Style.com]

WWD also applauded Galliano's ability to reel in his signature extravagance in These Times, dubbing the collection "both controversy-free and superb in its own right." The bottomless and topless looks "allowed him to show off the craft of couture-building via the most intricate, exquisite undies imaginable." Couture. Undies. [WWD]

• The underwear also left Hilary Alexander breathless. "Not since Jean Paul Gaultier put Madonna into a rocket-cone bra, has a couturier been so enamoured of corsetry, nor designed such underwear that positively demands to be on show," she writes in the Telegraph. She notes that Dior's couture clients will be able to purchase matching skirts and jackets for the looks that appear to be missing pieces, and have the transparent skirts lined. [Telegraph UK]

See a complete slideshow of the fall 2009 Christian Dior Couture collection. Also see backstage and details galleries.