Christian Dior: Move over, La Liz. Step aside, Steve Martin. Meet pop culture’s latest convert to the lure of ancient Egypt, John Galliano. Make that haute culture, because for all-out, would-that-you-could-take-it-with-you opulence, the couture collection Galliano showed on Monday afternoon just might rival the goods found in the tomb of the boy king himself.

This was a dazzling, dizzying Exhibit A of the kind of decadence that thrives on remarkable beauty and on the danger of living without limits. Along the way it flaunted once again both Galliano’s genius and his outright contempt for playing it safe. His is a world in which no latter-day Cleopatra can swath herself in too much gold, or drip too many turquoise baubles from her neck. Her feet glide with the provocation of pearl strands festooned in multiples, no matter how impractical; her eyes embrace the weight of layer upon layer of lacquered glitter. In this world of glammed-up pleasure, everyone lives to feel good till it hurts.

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