Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

The Christian Dior couture show in Paris today was a beautiful, if somewhat familiar, ahistorical jaunt. Part part 80s lingerie-as-outerwear, part stiff New Look peplums, and part 30s bias satin slips, the collection was topped with Stephen Jones' extraordinary hats.

Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Like this one, which we could imagine actually taking flight.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

The collection was presented at Dior's gray salon on Avenue Montaigne. The label's PR department tried to play the move as a return to the essence of the brand, but it can't be entirely coincidental that Dior has sought to avoid the expense of a location show in a year when all the major couture houses are expecting significant drops in orders.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Makeup artist Pat McGrath gave everyone Dovima brows.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Hat or sea anemone?


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Hat.

Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Hat or daisy?


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Hat.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

John Galliano named this collection "C'est la fievre de la cabine", or Cabine Fever ("cabine" in French means both "cabin" and "dressing room.") Which explains all the lingerie-inspired touches, like visible girdles, visible slips, and visible stockings.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

As well as occasional total bottomlessness.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Did we say occasional?


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Clearly, the whole no pants thing remains hot for fall.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Not that Mr. Galliano doesn't throw toplessness a bone now and then!


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

There's a reason Tyra calls it "couture pose."


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Let's hold an imaginary pose-off, right now!


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Even 1987 Madonna can't deny the appeal of the clavicle-pushing shoulder hunch.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

But this girl wins.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Chanel Iman's hat is giving off shades of Carrie Bradshaw's wedding.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Galliano loves his sheer fabrics. And when he can cut like that, who can blame him?


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Some of these dresses, however, we have seen before.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

Is this what we can expect from designers right now? Is it the economy, all those "consumers want to invest in classic pieces" warnings taken too much to heart? Whatever has driven Galliano back into the archives can't but disappoint those acquainted with the range of his genius. It remains to be seen whether customers will fork over tens of thousands for dresses that are merely beautiful.


Dior Couture: Fabulous, Vintage-Inspired Top & BottomlessnessS

But when he's on, he's on.