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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 29, 2002

Fashion this fall focuses on shoulders and legs

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Fashion Writer

Shoulders and legs — that's the emphasis for fall from John Galliano, creative director for Christian Dior.

John Galliano, for Dior, favors an eclectic mix of warrior, Indian and ballet influences in his colorful fall collection.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser

A look at Dior's collections offers a glimpse at what other designers will be doing in the following seasons. His imaginative, eclectic, historically-based designs are among the most copied in the world of fashion. And in the fall, he'll be working those skirts and off-the-shoulder shirts.

Diverse ethnic and historic references are juxtaposed. Street chic clashes with diaphanous ruffles. Galliano is clearly inspired by Mongolian warriors, Indian maharajas and the Ballet Russe. His latest collection is a cacophony of color: fuchsia, coral, black, chartreuse and turquoise are combined. He uses materials as diverse as suede, silk chiffon, leather and eelskin.

Matthew Heller, merchandise manager for Christian Dior in New York, recently brought a trunk show of the house's ready-to-wear fall collection to the Ala Moana Center store. Many details came directly from Galliano's haute couture creations.

Heller pointed out that the season's skirts are flirtatious, either narrow and pencil-thin, A-line or with kicky godets (triangular pieces set into the hem of the garment to add fullness) in contrasting fabrics. Skirts are paired with dyed yak fur jackets, laced corsets or leather bomber jackets.

Shoulders are a focal point, with details such as ruffles, complex seams and insets drawing the eye to them. There's even a wing-like effect on a coat inspired by the Cossack cavalry.

Textures are varied, and embroidery is even more evident than in previous seasons. There are long jackets with the look of Tutu's crocheted afghan as well as fabrics embellished with mirrors, Indian-style.

Black leather is especially prominent in Addict, an urban street-inspired ready-to-wear collection that will be a new staple at the Ala Moana store.

Anticipated to be the hottest accessory is a ladylike handbag inspired by Carrie Bradshaw, the character played by Sarah Jessica Parker on "Sex and the City." It comes in several colors and materials, including pink or chartreuse salmon skin (yes, the real thing, from fish that are discarded by the food industry).

Okay, fashion lovers, it's time to head for the gym and work on those shoulders and legs.