Wailing sirens, the sound of a car crash and billows of smoke: ever the showman John Galliano took Dior to the movies on Friday, to the heyday of the classic 1940s film noir.
First out onto the catwalk was a young Lauren Bacall look-alike with a flowing blonde mane in a trenchcoat worthy of Humphrey Bogart, glammed up in gunmetal grey lame, swinging a bulky black python attache case.
Trenchcoats and leather jackets with sharp lapels and belts knotted at the waist were the default outerwear in Galliano's ready-to-wear offerings for spring-summer 2010, and the attache case the new must-have accessory.
He slipped a liquorice black trenchcoat over second-skin metallic jeans, but mostly he softened the butch upper silhouette with ultra-feminine knitted lurex skirts or flirty petticoats. His clear favourite were slinky satin boxer shorts with a deep lace trim, although just how feasible it would be to wear them on a city street is a moot point.
The lingerie look took over for evening, with trompe l'oeil combinations of bras and panties wittily incorporated into cocktail frocks.
Corsets, in nude shades like ivory, with a delicate cobweb tracery of lace, topped a swishy sea green sheath here, or a pair of flesh-coloured satin boxer shorts there.
Evening gowns were fragile constructs in clouds of sheer finely pleated tulle, in orange, violet and ice blue, with "illusion" slips underneath giving tantalising glimpses of stocking tops and underwear.
Galliano appeared at the end of the runway out of a puff of smoke, clad like Bogey with his hallmark Borsalino hat, to thunderous applause from celebrity guests including Bruce Willis and his companion and the r'n'b singer Rihanna.
Dai Fujiwara's collection for Issey Miyake was a riot of colour, with pick-and-mix global references from Celtic to Native American to his own native Japan.
For his final sequence all the models stayed on the catwalk and milled around like a shoal of exotic tropical fish in their bright printed sarouels, sarongs and jumpsuits, splashed with apple green, electric blue, brick red and magenta.
Celtic-influenced jackets in jacquard were a patchwork of overlapping arches in subtle gradations of white and grey. Horizontal and vertical pleats gave a chequer board look to a cream summer coat. Others were constructed from woven strips of multi-coloured tape, here and there hanging loose from the hem.
Straw-coloured mesh knit floor-length cardigans and vests added a hippie de luxe touch.
Gaspard Yurkievich opened his show with tailored dresses with sculptured round shoulders, emphatic white lines down the sleeves, large zipped pockets and a big white zip down the back.
But he moved away from his austere, structured look, with a watercolour poppy print, turned into dressy blouses and fluid skirts, sometimes reduced to mere wisps of fabric, or picked out in sequins for cocktail frocks.Reuse content