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The next chapter revisited archive pieces such as a duchesse satin insert _ replicated from the 1960s _ on a black and gold brocade gown with matching knee-high boots.

Another vault piece, a black bustier dress with calico ruffles, got whoops from the crowd, perhaps still giddy from the flowing pre-show champagne.

The collection closed with a celebratory, postmodern twist: sheaths printed with Elbaz’s own hand-drawn sketches of dresses over the years, including two-dimensional ruffles and slashes.

Instead of bowing, a joyful Elbaz took a microphone to the stage and, admitting he couldn’t sing, attempted a rendition of “Que sera sera.”

The future is not ours to see: But with this, one of the strongest shows of the season so far, it looks shiny bright.


To slightly underwhelming applause it was, again, “interim” designer Bill Gaytten who closed Dior’s ready-to-wear show in a balletic display of lowered 1950s hemlines that missed the exuberance of January’s couture offering.

With reports his contract would end in May, the fall-winter collection was meant to be the designer’s last. But the talk of the front row was whether Dior might keep him on for another year.

Swan song or no, “Swan Lake” could have characterized the show: Balletic-high waistlines topped a new, longer-length skirt with knife-edged pleats and a more structured silhouette.

Some of the looks got it just right, like a skintight eggplant silk sweater that resembled a dancer’s leotard, on an embroidered silk skirt in violet that fluttered past like tulip petals.

The sex appeal was also turned up in the odd play of sheer paneling on the house’s signature 1950s gowns, in blushed nudes and inky jewel tones, that are shaping this fall’s look.

That Gaytten chose Karlie Kloss _ the 6-foot (1.8-meter) ballet-dancer-turned-supermodel _ to close the show was a playful touch.

However, given this is ready-to-wear, the ground-bound hemlines _ mid-calf or floor-length on the catwalks _ would likely drown out the a normal woman’s body.


Wearable is the name of the game at Belgian designer Glenn Martens’ gothic-tinged off-calendar debut in Paris.

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