Dior plays on classic ballet with signature looks

Fri Mar 2, 2012 11:41am EST
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By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters) - Christian Dior presented a toned-down version of elegance for autumn/winter on Friday, as the atelier's signature silhouette of full skirts and cinched waists took on a ballet-like flair.

Neutral tones of champagne and dusty pink, along with warmer aubergine and rich charcoal, dominated a collection which was high on femininity and was classic Dior.

A dove grey silk dress featured copious panels of lightweight fabric in the skirt that caught the air as the model walked the catwalk set up in the garden of the Rodin Museum.

"It's still very Christian Dior but cleaned up and still very elegant," designer Bill Gaytten told reporters backstage. Gaytten has been at the creative helm of the ultra-luxe fashion house since John Galliano was fired a year ago after making anti-Semitic slurs in public.

Dior, which is part of the luxury conglomerate LVMH, has yet to announce a permanent replacement, but executives are keeping mum.

"Things aren't done in a hurry," said Dior Chairman and Chief Executive Sidney Toledano backstage, declining to comment on when a replacement might be named and adding that sales were up 22 percent in 2011 and had surpassed a billion euros.

"The brand is selling well. Sales are very good."

Gaytten described his ready-to-wear collection as "less graphic and more tonal" that was easy to wear. Cashmere, brushed mohair and leather in jackets imparted depth in pairings with full silk skirts, always cut below the knee and full with fabric.   Continued...

Models present creations by designer Bill Gaytten as part of his Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show for French fashion house Dior during Paris Fashion Week March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier