Remember the 80s, those ruffled shirts, the flouncy skirts, the retro styles and the garage funk - and the conclusion that fashion was never at its worst. Well, those who differed in opinion will be extremely happy 'cause the 80s are back and this time its John Galliano's masterful strokes ...

By Bindu Rai

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Published: Tue 10 Feb 2004, 3:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:34 AM

that just may give you one after you witness the Christian Dior Spring-Summer 2004 pret collection.

Without being too harsh, the evening kicked off with a little history lesson on the Dior fashion house, with a few inspiring words from the little master himself. Said Galliano: "My latest collection (couture) has been inspired by Egyptian art, recreating architectural patterns like the Obliex and the Pyramids on my designs."

When asked if his pret collection would be just as popular in Dubai, his eager response was: "Whatever! This collection can be worn by any woman. It's magnifique and chic."

With the right attitude, the stage was set for a glamorous show, and the audience was not disappointed. With every technical detail taken into consideration, the lighting, the sound and the choreography was flawless. The clothes on the other hand, did come with their occasional hiccups, but even those could be ironed out or simply overlooked when Galliano put forward his classics.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. The first sequence introduced the new Dior suit with a tight fitted skirt (which is not an advisable wear if you plan to climb into 4WD) in faux leather, complete with a frilled hemline. This was teamed with a fitted bodice, with ruffled sleeves and lots of zips.

One after the other, the model strutted around in similar designs, with the colours changing from white, to grey, to silver and black. While these designs may be 'new' a lot of the fashion (especially the narrow fitted capris) reminded one of last year's summer collection. And all the fitted buckles, belts and zips can not change the fact that we have seen all this very recently.

But there were a few exceptions, and how. Cuts have always been a Dior signature and the exceptionally tailored white pantsuit was a perfect blend of class, elegance and design.

But Galliano hadn't restricted himself to just 80s. No siree, he also took inspiration from the 60s and 70s, with a particular skirt being a fond reminder of the great Marilyn Monroe's air vent stunt.

Leather, denim, georgette, lycra and chiffon were dominant in this sequence, and continued in the next, which resembled the garage funk that 80s style flaunted and was revived last year again.

Funky biker jackets with silver hoops, ruffled and fluted mini skirts (with enough buckles, zips and pockets to make anyone dizzy) and painted body suits were highlighted, and how.

But those who were there to see some classy designs were also not disappointed - they just had to wait a while.

A short peach-pink dress (classic 80s) was the epitome of style and finesse. Accompanied with delicate sequence on the hem, the flouncy skirt teased its way into the hearts of many.

While silver, white and black were still the dominant shades, we did see a splash of beige, pink, baby blues and even a green. And this is where he introduced the Indian prints. Yes indeed, the Indian summer is back, but only this time it is fused with funk.

Indian motifs, sequences and prints were very much in focus, especially on the hems of the short skirts and the leather and denim trousers.

The next sequence. which this reporter personally calls 'I'm a Jamaican in New York' set the exact mood for a reggae party. Blues, reds, yellows and greens comprised patchwork prints that were utilised in the form of skirts, tops, jackets, overcoats, hats and what not. All this was complemented with narrow pants and capris, with yes, buckles, belts, zips and pockets!

While cotton and lycra were the mediums that were used, lace also made a comeback, with frillings around the necklines, the back and lace cuts in the pants. The latter may not be something many would wear in public, but it did look stylish enough on the catwalk to interest a few buyers.

As we are on comebacks, one thing that has made a comeback and was predominant throughout the show was fur, fur and more fur! While activists can continue to picket, fur has really heated up on the fashion runways of Paris, Milan, and New York and it seems that Dubai is also getting into the mood. How much of fur jackets and stoles we will use here is anybody's guess, but if its en vogue then there are always takers.

The grand finale to the show was the Dior jewellery collection. Alas, the jewellery was not that visible to many of the audience members and those who could see the jewellery on the giant screen were sidetracked by the beautiful gowns. We wonder why the best was teamed up with the jewels, making it difficult to concentrate on either one. But at least those of us who read the invitation card realised that the jewellery can be viewed up close and personal today and tomorrow at the One and Only Royal Mirage Hotel.

As for those who missed the show, well, tough luck!

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