Galliano's 1920s muse, Celine's sober sophistication

A 1920s artist's muse was the inspiration for John Galliano's luxuriant new summer look, while Celine's sober sophistication - all butter-soft leather and fluid cuts - set Paris abuzz on Sunday.

Janet Jackson took up a front-row seat to watch the models step out in a riot of hats, gypsy scarves and fur collars, each outfit intended to be as singular as a portrait said the British designer.

Models in over-the-top make-up twirled in light, flounced dresses cut from fragile, transparent fabrics, for Galliano's spring/summer line for 2011 unveiled mid-way through Paris' marathon ready-to-wear shows.

A skirt was hemmed with ostrich feathers or Spanish shawl fringes, ultra-wide pants were layered with black tulle, and trenches were cut from translucent grey organza that left the structure and seams on full display.

Galliano took his inspiration from Maria Lani, muse to some of the greatest artists of her day including Amedeo Modigliani, whose portrait adorned the invite to the show.

There were pink and orange - everywhere this season - but also butterfly motifs on a frou-frou bustier dress or see-thru jacket.

At sundown, Galliano's woman stepped out in cristal- and gold-incrusted gowns, mostly white, displaying an artisan's touch unusual for a ready-to-wear collection, however luxurious.

Galliano says he was inspired for evening wear by Constantin Brancusi's metal sculptures. The kinship is far from obvious, but the result is delicate, feminine, with laser-sharp tailoring, and terribly desirable.

Cheers of delight rang out earlier as flavour-of-the-moment designer Phoebe Philo unveiled her third collection for Celine, a summer look brimming with elegant sophistication.

Caramel leather, desert-hooded weaves and flowing pants in ivory silk, with navy and sharp green bands lining the waist and side like a tuxedo: at each new piece, the room held its breath in admiration.

The magic was in the details, like a simple white jacket in starched cotton that left the back bare and fastened with a plain leather strap, or a white cotton blouse with a deep pink leather collar.

High-waisted leather skirts just covered the knee, curling around the hips to end in a gentle diagonal panel in the small of the back.

A sleeveless top in butter-soft maroon leather was paired with roomy trousers in vivid blue, while a long cotton damask tunic, like a sleeveless kimono was split on either side of the body, over a pair of pants.

A Moroccan flavour came from a green silk top with geometric motifs, hemmed with a band of orange, while a fluid, bare-armed navy dress robe plunged to a deep V shape at front an back - while its modest, sister piece offered long sleeves and demure neckline.

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