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Christian Dior: Lisa Fonssagrives lives
Updated: 2008-07-01 11:07

A model presents a creation as part of British designer John Galliano's Haute-Couture Autumn-Winter 2008-2009 fashion show for French fashion house Dior in Paris, June 30, 2008.[Agencies]

Paris Beauty as an ethereal phenomena that makes the viewer feel, even be, better from seeing it was the real message at the thoroughly excellent Christian Dior haute couture collection staged Monday in Paris, a requiem for arguably the most iconic model of them all, Lisa Fonssagrives.

Generally credited with being the first ever supermodel, Fonssagrives' ghost wafted down the custom made runway in the Rodin Museum in what was John Galliano's best couture collection in half a decade.

Lisa's haute gamme elegance was apparent in the opening look, a devilishly well-cut white mega flared wool coat with a huge hip enhancing black patent leather belt. The hips had it throughout the first half, with "Bar belts" and fabric additions curving and swirling up and down.

Galliano had clearly been putting in the hours, as the clothes fitted the models beautifully. That might seem a given in haute couture, but remarkably is not the case with most couturiers.

Fabulous black crocodile jackets paired with sheer skirts, remarkably elegant tulle embroidered flared dresses and a few sliced-by-a-surgeon suits in silk chartreuse were the standouts in a show, powered on by a tremendous Jeremy Healy soundtrack.

Hatter Stephen Jones also put in a remarkable performance, dreaming up studded leather skullcaps with Art Deco spouts or flapper caps encrusted with jewels, mimicking looks worn by Fonssagrives.

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