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Couture Roundup: It's a Circus at Dior & Armani's Homage to Japan

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Ah, Paris in the summer. Add to that bolts of satin and organza, throw in a circus theme, and what do you get? Fall 2011 haute couture fashion week bien sur!

This season marked the first without John Galliano at the creative helm of the house of Dior. The reviews are in for the Christian Dior show and there are some less than stellar remarks for Bill Gaytten's collection. Amid his encouraging words on Style.com, Tim Blanks wrote that it was alas a "misjudged effort to impress." Sarah Mower of Vogue echoed the industry's sentiments. Mower shared, "inevitably the lack of a designer’s overarching vision couldn’t be concealed." Cathy Horyn's headline in her New York Times article said it all. It was titled Days of Strangeness at Dior.

Giorgio Armani dedicated his Armani Privé collection to the victims of Japan. Armani, who has been a strong supporter of UNESCO scholarship program, referenced Japanese iconography such as the wave prints and cherry blossoms. Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune said, "what seemed new was the designer’s confidence at playing with painterly color and pattern." Tim Blanks felt that "Armani had reflected on new Japan as much as old traditions, because there was a hint of Rei Kawakubo's original radicalism. It's nice to see an established designer go beyond the predictable route and continue to challenge himself. Well done Mr. Armani!
· Christian Dior [Official Site]
· Giorgio Armani [Official Site]
· All couture coverage [Racked]