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The Paris Haute Couture season kicked off in extravagent style on Monday as Galliano marked the 60th anniversary of the house of Dior. Supermodels including Linda Evangelista(above) returned to the catwalk for the special occasion
Photo: © AFP
Click on photos for gallery

His sumptuous and flamboyant creations were inspired by the world's greatest artists, from Renoir to Picasso
Photo: © AFP

Framed by white roses, British model Naomi Campbell strikes a pose in the Versailles Orangery
Photo: © AFP

Galliano celebrates 60 years of Dior with Versailles extravaganza

3 JULY 2007

Click here to see video coverage of the show

One of the most extravagant couture shows in fashion history set Paris alight on Monday as John Galliano held his autumn/winter haute couture show for Christian Dior in the Orangery at the Palace of Versailles. The flamboyant British designer pulled out all the stops to ensure the 60th anniversary of one of France's most renowned couture houses was a moment to remember. And in an extraordinary coup, he persuaded some of the world's most beautiful women including Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Karen Mulder and Stella Tennant back on the runway to model his extravagant creations.

Former Versailles resident Marie Antoinette would no doubt have been thrilled by the breathtaking gowns in ravishing colours that filled the catwalk. Many of the hand-crafted pieces were inspired by the art world's old masters and their muses, through works from Goya and Velasquez to Boticelli and Caravaggio.

Forties-style evening suits referenced Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci, while Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen wore an updated version of the hip-padded "Bar" jacket that was a key piece in Christian Dior's ground-breaking "New Look" collection of 1947.

Galliano, clad in a dramatic matador outfit, paid particular homage to his Spanish roots. Freshly returned from a trip to Seville, he had bought along a flamenco troupe and treated his A-list guests to tapas and paella washed down with bubbly.

Hollywood's leading ladies, who'd been requested to dress with "extreme elegance" for the occasion, were clearly bowled over by the affair. "It's amazing, it's like a dream come true," said Sin City actress Jessica Alba, who was just one of several international beauties, including Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson and Eva Green, bringing screen glamour to the event.

The Dior presentation was one of three high-profile anniversary shows taking place this week. On Tuesday Christian Lacroix is celebrating 20 years in Paris, while Valentino is due to beginning a weekend of festivities in Rome on Friday to mark his 45-year contribution to the fashion scene.

Click here for a gallery of celebs attending the show

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