Dior designer, John Galliano, cast off any notion of recession with his collection of bodices and swinging skirts all created to retrieve the extravagance of Dior`s 1950`s New Look.
The British fashion designer opened the Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2010-11 haute couture collection in Paris, which was held at the Rodin Museum that was turned into a blooming garden with classic statues.
The haute couture collection seemed to be full of spring with contrasting primary colors and an abundance of swinging organza. Models wore spiked strappy sandals and some had their heads wrapped in yellow or red cellophane to create the look of flower bouquets.
The show recalled the `Tulip line` designed by Christian Dior back in 1953 when the house was the lighthouse of French fashion. Haute couture remains the most expensive fashion globally. An evening dress can cost around $40,000 and a suit not much less. Experts estimate that there are no more than 300 clients for the clothes, many of whom live in Russia, Arab countries and Asia. The expense derives from the prestige of the piece and the man-hours that are required to make a dress or a suit by hand.
Galliano`s pieces were no exception, with a black bodice made of feathers and hand painted dresses.
“You see in these dresses the work of the artisans…their labor is evident,” said Sylvie le Louam, who buys haute couture. “This is art.”
But increasingly designers are finding the expense of haute couture hard to justify, especially due to the recent economic turmoil. They are turning their eye to both emerging markets and celebrities to sell their clothes. American actors Jessica Alba and Jared Leto attended the show, as did buyers from Hong Kong, Thailand, as well as India.
“Wealthy people in these countries have a need for recognition and status,” said Jean-Jacques Picard, an adviser to LVMH. “High fashion is, along with jewellery, the best means to convey the fact that you belong to the privileged, without having to utter a word.”