Christian Dior Fall 2012 Review

Christian Dior Fall 2012

Photo: Imaxtree

Christian Dior Fall 2012

SHOW: Christian Dior (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Guido Palau

MAKE-UP: Pat McGrath

ACCESSORIES: Ribbon-laced platform sandals, boxy frame bags in powdery leather, patent leather belts

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: A quiet and heartfelt homage to the legacy of Maison Dior

Since the departure of John Galliano a year ago, the house of Christian Dior hasn't really floundered. Instead, it's retreated back into itself. They still stage their grand shows—after last couture season's slink through the Avenue Montaigne salon, Fall 2012's was at the traditional thousand-seater tent out back of the Musée Rodin—but the clothes don't shout quite so loudly.

For this Dior collection, designer Bill Gaytten looked to ballerinas, an inspiration for Monsieur Dior himself in creating his A-line in the early fifties. That means a less voluminous, less bombastic vision of curvy femininity than the New Look, although Gaytten still padded the hips into short basque jackets to jut proudly and emphasize a petite waist. They were spanned with patent belts in tones to match the outfits, predominantly pastel shades of lilac, pink and Dior gray with shots of black and burgundy.

Evening wear has always been a Dior specialty, and in this the house excelled, not only in the filmy, full-skirted and tulle-wrapped ballerina dresses but in the sleek, simple black gowns, one a skirt with beaded sweater, another veiling a cut-out over the cleavage with gathered chiffon. They looked sleek, modern and new for Dior—they weren't block-busters, but you could imagine them being best-sellers.