Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It'll do magic believe it or not
I cannot remember the last time I bumped into a fairy godmother. But the more news channels that go live the more opportunity there is for some bleak prophecy of doom so where better to escape than in the petticoats of Paris? Fashion is there after all to create magic.
I remember my first season of couture I pretended to be at Guide Camp and smuggled in under miles worth of cables and a tripod balancing on my head as the lowest of assistants. My then 'employee' tied the microphone lead to my arm and would tug on the leash anytime I floated off into this beautiful wonderland. I would crouch alongside ladies in shoes I dare say were older than I had years and watched in awe as they sat fanning themselves with the hauteur of Cleopatra, their make up melting under the bright lights as out strode numero un, numero deux... I was hooked.
Yves Saint Laurent would always finish with a bride, Lacroix was a newcomer that took a bow under a sea of carnations and Ivana was only newly engaged to Trump. It was enchanting.
If you had a winning lottery ticket this was how to spend it. Haute Couture was there to paint a canvas and create confections as light as the pastries in laduree and you couldn't fail to swoon. Why worry if you didn't have the romance of the movies, here was fantasy you could wear. It was an art form and I was hooked. Gianni Versace had more celebrities in his front row than the Oscars, Jean Paul Gaultier created gowns from feathers and denims, John Galliano was about to be appointed at Dior and Karl Lagerfeld reigned supreme at Chanel and all was well in the sublime Kingdom of couture.
Funny how things change.
Is couture still relevant? As long as women want to look beautiful I would say it is. It is the melting pot for the next season's worth of ideas to simmer. At Dior I would watch wide-eyed as each season Galliano would conduct a great symphony - Jeremy Healy the music, Michael Howells the set, Stephen Jones the millinery, Pat McGrath the make up, Orlando Pita the hair... You can draw a line in life before and after that moment but you must not dust away or forget any of that magic. Yesterday the world kept turning and Dior sent out its first couture since the changing of the guards. Opera Garnier, Versailles, Marchesa Castai, Picasso, pick any muse you like that was then this is now...
The show took inspiration from the architecture of Gehry, the art work of Sottass and the parties at 'Le Palace'... but all quills were sharpened for 'who' took the final bow and it was as if the front row was filled with Miss Marple and Hercule Poiret rather than the normal reviewers...
I had a review on Amazon that once said they would not use my book as cat litter. I certainly hope they did not. But that is the review stayed with me. Like Dolores Umbridge setting lines in Harry Potter each line of a cruel review scars as if written on your heart. The speculation and the scandal surrounding Dior should be left alone. Couture, Galliano, Dior, they are names that should be associated with beauty. If you meddle with the magic how can you hope for the best bibbidi-bobbidi-boo?