Christian Dior revamped the 1950s' New Look for its 2012 spring-summer haute couture collection, with stand-in designer Bill Gaytten playing it safe, with success, following last season's panning.
Floaty silk crepe silhouettes with nipped waists -- in shades of beige, aubergine, red, black and white -- filed through the sumptuous salons of the couturier on the Avenue Montaigne yesterday.
Mr Gaytten had clearly hit on the house's signature pieces from their 1950s heyday, in a back-to-basics move following the fall-winter couture flop. Despite its predictability, the collection somehow worked, perhaps by dint of its subtlety and textural detail.
A classic A-line bar suit was given a light touch in ultra-feminine sheer silk with a full skirt, giving the show an ethereal, otherworldly feel.
Black silk dresses were painstakingly embroidered with delicate beads, followed by knee-length skirts featuring long knife-pleats that fluttered like butterfly wings.
The piece de resistance came near the end: a floor-length ballgown with a full black and white tulle skirt that brushed teasingly past photographers.
Meanwhile, Donatella Versace climbed Mount Olympus for inspiration in the opening show of Paris' spring-summer haute couture week, in top form after an eight-year hiatus.
Gold metal discs sculpted the busts and accentuated the hips. The clothes were pure Grecian drama.