Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall 2007: The Banderilla of Fashion in the Realm of Art
Paris Haute Couture Fall 2007
By: Jean Paul Cauvin
PARIS, Jul 2, 2007/ FW/ --- The Orangerie of the famous Castle of Versailles built by Louis the XIV was the fabulous setting for the Dior Haute Couture collection for Fall 2007. Inside the huge gallery more than a thousand international VIPs, movie stars, fashion pundits and reporters have gathered to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the House of Dior, and the 10th anniversary of John Galliano at the helm of creation of the most emblematic Parisian haute couture house.
On February 14, 1956, Mr. Christian Dior himself had taken part in a «Bal des Artistes», a ball where the young master was costumed as Barbey d’Aurevilly, the famous 19th century French writer. The entire runway show and the following fabulous party were themed around the same « Bal des Artistes » by John Galliano.
Forty-five looks in the tradition of luxury and highly refined exuberance of Dior by Galliano were sent on what could well be the longest catwalk in the history of Haute Couture. Although John Galliano, born in Gibraltar, had unveiled that he would come back to his Spanish origins in the collection, the amplitude of the runway show went far beyond this revelation, as each and every one of the looks was a tribute to a Master of Art, worn by a supermodel. Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Manet, Gainsborough were honoured and also Gruau, the Master fashion illustrator or Irving Penn, the Master photographer, and of course a whole set of Spanish painters like Goya and Velasquez.
The music soundtrack was as varied as possible as different live musicians were performing along the runway, in a harmonious collage, with a group chanting flamenco, another singing gospel, and a strings quartet playing violins and cellos, under the long arched vault built more than three hundred years ago by France’s Sun-King.
The first number, a tribute to Irving Penn, was worn by Gisele Bundchen: the season’s reinterpretation of the famous Dior suit opened the ball in jet–embroidered black with its crayon skirt, and folded widening basques on the jacket. Painted lips, attitudes and gloves were really reminiscent of the famous photographer’s work.
The series of dresses, sheaths, gowns of exception that followed, often boasted very big volumes in the Dior by Galliano tradition. Taffetas, silks, “duchesse” satins, embroidered pieces were sometimes draped on asymmetric « panier » crinolines cinched by corsets and were often used to create volumes around the bosom and on the neckline to fall to the ground in ample turmoils.
Among the evening’s favourites, the tribute to Gruau was certainly a standout: a white muslin dress with a huge rose draped in the same fabric at the waist and hand painted in magenta.
Picasso was conjured on the runway by a very sizzling Arlecchino, and several looks were inspired by other major Spanish painters: a huge dress in embroidered Chantilly lace and stiff train was like a recapitulation of the darker works of Goya, the flamboyance and pride of Spain was also represented on a spectacular outfit of Granada red silk satin embroidered with an impressive set of gold pieces as a reinterpretation of Iberic craftsmanship in the excellence of Haute Couture.
Not all looks can be described in this review, but, suffice to say, the vibrancy of the purple dress worn by Lily Cole – a tribute to Tiepolo – left the audience breathless as it seemed to evoke the splendour of night time.
John Galliano, who has dedicated this collection to Steven Robinson - his first assistant from the very beginnings of the designer who deceased unexpectedly in April this year – took his bow under a thunder of applause and a standing ovation dressed as a torero in a light blue costume of light.
The presentation was followed by a fabulous party in the gardens of the Orangerie, which had been transformed, into a huge Arabian tents camp, complete with palm trees. All supermodels seen on the runway like Stella Tennant, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista participated in the event, just like many sliver screen actresses among which Juliette Binoche, Monica Bellucci, Charlize Theron, Dita von Teese, Marisa Berenson, movie directors or moguls like Pedro Almodovar, Nicole Garcia and Harvey Weinstein, and even couturier Pierre Cardin, to name but a few…
All were happy to celebrate this anniversary of the House of Dior, happy to proclaim that Haute Couture is alive and well… when talent is allowed to take the helm, when no limits are set to imagination, when creativity rules.