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“I’m sure Mr. Dior would have loved these prints,” John Galliano says of the Ikat weave he used for Christian Dior’s fall-winter collection.  And Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, munching on a toy tiger destined for his “Sesame Street”-themed fall collection, whooped, “Who’d have thought I’d be doing this at almost 60!” But he wasn’t the only one looking to put the fun back into fashion. Ungaro’s Esteban Cortazar even broke into a dance during his fittings. And could Martin Margiela’s Cinderella-style glass slippers hint at a fairy-tale ending at his Maison? Here, a first look inside Paris ateliers and studios as designers geared up for the season.

This story first appeared in the March 5, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.