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John Galliano is living out his wildest fantasies — and he’s taking everyone else along for the ride. Who else would launch a perfume at the Lido, the touristy Parisian cabaret with its better days long gone? But that’s just where the designer debuted Christian Dior’s Addict Thursday night. Onlookers packed the Champs Elysées, hoping to make the cut, while inside, guests including Christina Ricci, Claire Danes, Laura Dern and Rosanna Arquette, got an eyeful. Professional pole dancers, both female and male, writhed for all they were worth, the former dressed in Christian Dior G-strings and bra tops, the latter — a cop, a gangsta, Elvis — done up like the lost members of The Village People.

But no one could top Galliano’s performance.

This story first appeared in the October 7, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Studio 54 is back!” Vanessa Getty yelled as Galliano floated in from on high and landed on the stage where a prancing troupe of showgirls in full Vegas regalia did their routine.

Ricci and Danes climbed on top of their banquette to watch.

“C’est magique,” said Ricci.

“C’est fantastique,” said Danes, echoing the lyrics to the opening number. “My initials happen to be CD, you know. So I’m feeling kind of proprietary about the whole thing.”

It was hot, literally. So hot, in fact, that one pole dancer’s false eyebrow slid right off on a slick of sweat. And once the fashion crowd — led by Gisele Bündchen — hit the dance floor it got even hotter, though Tommy Hilfiger never let the mayhem distract him and continued talking real estate while a dancer’s bare bottom wiggled mere inches away.

As the crowd thickened and hot turned to sweltering, one editor gave David Copperfield a special assignment: “Can you make half of these people disappear?” But not even Copperfield’s magic could sweep them away.

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