With the Mediterranean Sea the picturesque backdrop, Dior showcased its 2014 collection on Saturday night. It was a wet, cold and generally miserable outside the white stage, but Raf Simons' designs provided the shimmering summery lift for the evening.
Among those on hand were Oscar-winner and Dior spokeswoman Marion Cotillard, actresses Ruth Wilson and Jessica Biel, and Prince Albert of Monaco, along with his fashionable wife, Princess Charlene.
Before the show, Biel called Dior's fashions beautiful, saying she also appreciated them because they were made for real woman. If that was the case, such women are dynamic gazelles who even in their downtime have multiple agendas.
There were sheer lace cover-ups, brightly colored dresses, and jackets and coats made of wool.
In press materials provided at the show, Simons explained his inspiration to prominently feature lace in the collection.
"I never worked with lace before," he said. "It was about transforming the meaning of the material; not romantic, not historical, not old, to something light, playful, colorful and modern - with energy."
Many of the pieces had an effervescent feel, like the metallic blended with sheer lace and a strip of a coral floral print in one dress; a wool jacket and pants were made vibrant with bright red color.
But there were other outfits that had a more traditional look, like a flowing spaghetti-strap red dress that hit mid-calf at the front but draped near the floor in the back, and the one-piece bathing suits that harkened back to old-style Hollywood glamour - particularly a brilliant blue piece with ruching in the back.
After an enthusiastic ovation for the show, guests such as Liv Tyler were shuttled to the Oceanographic Museum nearby as Prince Albert and his wife threw a reception that showcased some of the fashions - including Dior - worn by his late mother, Princess Grace.
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