Dior's tropical mists meet Miyake's fashion 'spirits'

A misty sensuality wafted through Paris Friday, as captain John Galliano steered Christian Dior's new summer collection to a lost Pacific island, and Issey Mikaye drew its new look from a haunted house.

American supermodel Karlie Kloss was first to stride out from a desert island decor, complete with white sand and ruined beach villa, in a sailor's cap, hooded parka in crisp white nubuck leather, paired with stiletto boots.

Followed an upbeat roll-call of catwalk sailors in cotton print day dresses and sarong twists, patterned with bright hibiscus and orchids, worn with peacoats and white caps cocked to one side.

Designer Galliano chose pumping 80s pop for his soundtrack, but the look was 1950s to the fingertips, with shoulder-length iron-curled hair and fringes, and cat-eye shades in bright lollipop hues of orange, pink or blue.

There was a mini-riot when Kate Moss - who had yet to be seen at the Paris shows - took up a front row seat at the Tuileries Gardens show, wearing a tight leather mini-skirt and ostrich-feather coat.

Seated next to her, Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano told AFP after the show that Galliano had made a seamless journey from flowers - the theme of his latest haute couture at Dior - to the island universe of the ready-to-wear.

"It's a real summer collection, all about colours," he said. "You have that whole same universe we saw with the couture, spirited to the South Pacific."

For on-shore leave, the crew switched to roll-up chinos and beaten leathers or mini-shorts worn with hooded sweater and waistcoat, though for footwear they stuck to stiletto espadrilles with little ankle warmers to keep off the breeze.

And for evening Dior's woman let the day fall away in bare-all, flowing translucent long silks, in fuschia, indigo or turquoise complete with trailing belts and necklaces of exotic feathers, shells and organza.

Ever the showman, Galliano stepped out to salute the fashion crowd in a pirate captain's uniform, navy blue with magenta lapels, his hair worn in wispy long plaits.

At Issey Miyake, a cool mist wafted onto the runway as the models stepped out in ghostly-fine silks, to the sound of eery fairground music with strings, trumpets and soft chanting - conjuring the image of a haunted house.

Pale as moonlight, the first model wore a dress of infinitely soft, pleated grey silk tumbling straight from bare shoulders to the thighs like its wearer's thick, soft pony tail, blonde with a red streak.

"There's a ghost hiding in the clothes. It waits patiently in the clothes to entice a new spirit," whispered the show's notes.

Designer Dai Fujiwara put the focus on fabrics, showcasing the label's technical know-how in series with names like "Invisible", "Transformation", "Shadow" or "Merry-Ghost-Round."

Sleeveless dresses were folded over the breasts like kimonos, with a large black-and-white check worn over ballooning soft white pants, while flowing, ultra-fine silks alternated with highly-structured pleats.

A white, full length, fine-knitted dress was covered with a mosaic of tiny slits that stretched to offer a glimpse of the model's black skin underneath, with ridges of little triangles like a dragon's scales running up the arms.

One cleverly pleated sarong-dress bounced up and down almost a foot as the model walked.

The Miyake palette mostly ran from white to black - like a grey silk dress with a band of lighter silver discs running around the breast - with patterns like cobwebs and mist.

Black twisted leather could be zipped on and off white dresses, with bags to match.

But there were playful numbers too, like a rust-coloured bell hat of wide netting, worn over straw-coloured shorts and body-hugging top with rich, scrunched-looking embellishments.

And eruptions of colour came with bold chequered or tie-dyed patterns in mustard, red, and turquoise.

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