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Dior marks end of Galliano reign

Fashionistas have marked the end of British designer John Galliano's 15-year tenure at the House of Dior.

His reign at the luxury label came to an end earlier this week when he was sacked amid allegations he had made anti-Semitic comments.

A sombre atmosphere hung over the label's autumn-winter 2011-12 ready-to-wear show in Paris, as about 1,000 black-clad fashion editors, journalists and stylists took in Galliano's final collection for the house.

The clothes on the runway bore Galliano's hallmark featherlight touch on the bias-cut gowns in sheer silk, and his over-the-top 1970s boho looks and rich jewel tones that opened the show.

For the first time in 15 years, Galliano did not attend the show, with Dior's studio - the dozens of seamstresses, tailors and embroiderers who brought Galliano's designs to life - taking his place on the catwalk for the final bow.

The Galliano controversy is arguably the biggest thing to hit the fashion world since the death of another acclaimed British designer, Alexander McQueen, last year.

Last Friday, reports emerged that Galliano had been questioned over alleged anti-Semitic remarks aimed at a couple at a trendy Paris bar. Dior suspended Galliano immediately, and then sacked him on Tuesday after a video of Galliano praising Hitler went viral on the internet.

It was initially unclear whether Dior would even go ahead with its runway show without its designer, who is thought to be in rehab in Arizona, the US. Dior has declined to comment about Galliano's whereabouts.

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, the new face of Miss Dior Cherie perfume, stanced herself from the brand at the beginning of the controversy, saying: "As an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way."

A Paris court has ruled that Galliano must stand trial on charges of "public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" made against three people. The trial could take place between April and June and Galliano could face up to six months in prison and 22,500 euro (£19,360) in fines, if convicted, prosecutors said.

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