John Galliano didn't go on one of his extensive research trips to come up with the Christian Dior concept for spring; perhaps he just popped across Paris to an exhibition of Marlene Dietrich's clothes that ran this summer. "It was Marlene," explained the designer. "But then I thought, who would she be today? Marianne Faithfull, Janis Joplin, Courtney Love, Patti Smith!"

Marlene was clearly behind his opening series of curvy gunmetal satin suits with a forties air; the fox-fur jackets that swanked through the show; and the beautiful bias-cut dresses, in silver or gold lamé tissue, that starred towards the end. In between, Galliano mixed up her influence with tattoo-print body stockings, suits with pieces of corsets and garters dangling from the skirt and jacket hems, and some hip-hop–influenced silk sportswear. There were enough items in the melee to satisfy the faithful: his signature print chiffon dresses, some ultra-sexy swimsuits, and the new twist on the Dior bag (it comes with a fox stole attached to the strap). But anyone looking for Galliano's next great leap forward will have to wait till next season.