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haute-couture

John Galliano's Spring-Summer 2004 Haute Couture collection

John Galliano's Spring-Summer 2004 Haute Couture collection for Christian Dior was themed to his then recent travels to Egypt, clearly representative of the ethnic influences which often shine in his works.

The more conservative of John Galliano's apparel shown on January 19, 2004 in Paris, included leopard-print fur stoles with collars that "soar like obelisks", billowing gowns of shadow-dyed organza, with hems twisted and folded into lotus flower shapes, and pyramid-shaped gowns made of dozens of golden mirrors, and printed with hieroglyphics, or the glamorous mummies paraded in bandages of black silk tulle flashing with rainbow sequins. Many wore Nefertiti-like crowns, or long Egyptian "goatees". The models wore breast-plates of turquoise, coral, silver and gold, and earrings the size of "eagles' eggs".

Some of the more brilliant examples of flawless tailoring was shown in the golden or blue snakeskin sheaths, worn by models "walking like Egyptians". These models wore elegantly carved and polished wood masks, of Tutenkhamun, or gods like Horus, a falcon, Bast, a cat, or most brilliantly, Anubis, a jackal. The masks were made by London milliner Stephen Jones.

All models were outfitted in corsets, making the models more desirably cat-like, linking to the Egyptian theme.

Models in the show included Britain's Erin O'Connor, Sudan-born Alek Wek and the Czech Karolína Kurková.

Wearing an off-the-shoulder, bell-sleeved blouse and pencil skirt from Galliano's 1997 Dior haute couture collection, television actress Sarah Jessica Parker sat in the front row, transfixed. She was quoted as saying "Why isn't everybody jumping up and down and screaming? I knew Galliano was capable of elegance, whimsy, fantasy and history, but this was beyond fantastic; beyond belief. I have never seen anything like it in my life."

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