John Galliano at DiorDecember 18, 2014
John Galliano worked for both Givenchy and Dior, both famous fashion houses that have revolutionised fashion. Galliano worked with Givenchy from 1995 to 1996 and then for Christian Dior from 1996 to 2011. Our attention will focus on his time with Dior.
John Galliano at Dior
Fashion with a theme
What’s remarkable about Galliano’s designs are how he uses history and iconic movies to recreate collections, In 2008 while at Dior we had the Blanche Dubois look from A Streetcar Called Desire, and before Givenchy and Dior back in 1992 he gave us the Napoleon and Josephine look from the famous true love story of the war leader and his lover. In 1993, again before Givenchy and Dior, he created the Princess Lucretia look inspired by a real Russian princess in 1993, and his final bow costumes are world renowned with Napoleon Bonaparte and US astronaut’s taking the stage in a blistering finale to his collections.
What Galliano demonstrated at Dior was his highly imaginative clothes and his passion for studying certain aspects of history in order to get what he wanted just right.
Galliano replaced Gianfranco Ferre in 1996 and his 15 years at Dior were ground breaking in fashion terms. Here is a glimpse at some of the collections Galliano came up with during his time at Dior.
Here Galliano demonstrated his passion for accuracy and flair for fashion by combining key looks with a passion for Egypt, a country he had just visited. The gowns he produced were rich, beautiful and opulent combining theatricality and femininity. Shadow dyed organza, leopard print stoles and Egyptian queen crowns were worn by models, with breath takingly designed masks of Tutankhamen and Egyptian gods of Horus, Anubis, Bast, cats and jackals. All designed by the British milliner Stephen Jones. It was a partnership that would last for all of his collections.
Here Symbolist painters were Galliano’s inspiration with use of duchesse satin, sparkle, plastic flowers and embroidery. Lacquered hair worn up and big was carried by lamp shade and saucer shaped hats, designed again by the famous milliner Stephen Jones. Galliano was inspired byMadame X and Gustav Klimt. The colours were vibrant and loud, with reds, magentas, yellows and purples. Large platform shoes completed a total fantasy sixties look that left everyone stunned for all the right reasons.
Here, Galliano’s inspiration was flowers. He studied real flowers in order to understand their formation and looked at how the light changed on a flower, to come up with flower-like dresses with beautiful colours, raffia belts, and again Stephen Jones’ flower hats that balanced beautifully and precariously on the heads of his models.
There was a combination of feathering, ruching, ruffling and fronding to copy the delicate intricacy of a real flower. It worked, the collection was a triumph.
Galliano would leave Dior in 2011 under a cloud, but is due to return after a long break with a collection for Maison Martin Margiela, which everyone waits for with anticipation. Will he return to the glory days during his time at Givenchy and especially Dior? Only time will tell. Whatever form or shape his collection takes, one thing is certain, it will be worth seeing.