EMMA JOHNSON: John Galliano may no longer be in
charge but j’adore Dior Couture
WHEN I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a “sticky out” dress. Blame it on Deborah Kerr in The King and I, or the endless afternoons spent watching MGM musicals with my nana.
Scarlett O’Hara may also have had a hand in nurturing this obsession.
Barring one pink bridesmaid’s dress, though – the diameter of which was not a patch on Kerr’s or Scarlett’s – I never got one.
But now a sticky out dress is within my reach. Should I suddenly come into £50,000 or so, that is.
Because the dresses unveiled at Christian Dior’s Paris couture show this week are the stuff my childhood dreams were made of.
Almost a year since John Galliano’s dishonourable discharge, his former right-hand man and acting creative director, Bill Gaytten, plundered the Dior archives for his second couture collection for the legendary fashion house, sending an array of to-die-for dresses down the runway.
The gowns took their cues from the iconic collections of Mr Dior himself, the New Look that made the designer’s name back in the late 1940s.
Revered fashion writer Colin McDowell went so far as to say they were copied. (“I could show you a picture of every single one of those dresses from the 1950s,” he told the Telegraph) but agreed that they worked.
Gaytten has described the collection as “an X-ray vision of Dior” because the sheer fabrics allow us to see the construction of the pieces.
Well, X-ray marks the spot for me. I can’t remember the last time a fashion designer made me catch my breath like this.
That said, it wasn’t all ball-gowns, there were also cute full-skirted cocktail dresses and elegant suits.
If I won the Euromillions lottery, I’d buy the lot and wear it everywhere from St Tropez to Sainsbury’s.
The dresses were so beautiful they even managed to (briefly) silence gossip about who should eventually take over as Dior’s creative director.
Although Gaytten has been in charge ever since Galliano’s departure following his arrest and later conviction for making anti-Semitic comments, as yet he has not been confirmed as his permanent successor.
Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Marc Jacobs, and Raf Simons, of Jil Sander, have both been tipped for the role, but poor Gaytten had been considered by many to be out of the running.
Well, this week’s show is one hell of a job application.
The first time around, Dior’s New Look was ruthlessly ripped off, with the nipped-in waists and full skirts going on to become the silhouette of the 1950s.
Whether that will happen this time, though, I am not sure.
I can’t imagine how Primark and Topshop could knock up frocks like this at pocket money prices.
Where I do think we will be seeing these dresses again is next month’s Academy Awards.
Cameron Diaz was among the A-listers on the front row in Paris, and I fully expect to see a number of Gaytten’s masterpieces sashaying down the red carpet at the Oscars.
And, looking at the size of those skirts, I think they’re gonna need a bigger carpet.