by Alexander Fury .

PARIS FASHION WEEK: John Galliano

That theme tune wasn't from Scottish Widows, it was from Lloyds TSB, and perhaps John Galliano had matters financial on his mind when creating his latest collection. Indeed, this show seemed very much grounded in the here and now - witness a catwalk of derailed trains and glowing embers eerily reminiscent of the British contingent's worst fears for the journey home tomorrow. The stripped-back presentation not only reflected these stripped-back times, but also a certain paring down of Galliano's more exuberant instincts: gone was the historical fantasia and unapologetic escapism of his last few seasons, and in its place was a commercially viable collection of the gorgeous dresses Galliano does best. No tricks, no dazzle, no dreaming. In a sense, that was what this show lacked: a full-throttle, white kuckle, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Galliano fantasia would have been a welcome antidote to a season all too aware of harsh realities. That's not to say Galliano abandonned his trademark romanticism: far from it. Indeed, this collection was a ravishing deluge of slippery bias-cut chiffon, billowing in rich, saturated colours, vivid prints and unusual combinations. The opening outfits marrying acidic cyclamen, flame and clementine orange hues in short, flippy skater-skirts and slip dresses quickly sweetened into succulent rococo hues of aquamarine, primrose, powdery pink and bleu de Roi lifted from Sevres porcelain. Beautiful as they were, these are tried and tested Galliano staples, and although neither a practical trousersuit nor speck of the basic black we have seen everywhere appeared on this catwalk, a similar note of belt-tighening and reining-in was in the air. The collection was apparently inspired by Jeff Koons - and his kitschy influence could be seen in the multi-hued prints, and hefty, organic metallic shoes that put one in mind of his balloon-rabbit sculptures. His notions of parody could be read in Galliano's play on scale: as with his giant billet de train invite, details were blown to gigantic proportions on the Napoleonic frock-coats jackets and in Stephen Jones irrepresible millinery: a touch of pure, unadulterated ludique that kept the collection just the right side of madcap. At the same time, Koons' ideas of postmodern pastiche, irony and wry marriage of commerce and art don't exactly sit side-by-side with fashion's last great romantic. In a sense this show lacked a little emotion, in the same way that, arguably, Koons' art focusses on unfeeling superficiality. For a man whose very raison d'etre is to break the rules, to see Galliano playing them quite so slickly was a little disheartening.

1 comment

  1. lysergi884
    18:16 23 Oct 2008
    While it was different to see variations of Galliano's artistic mind, I would have of course loved to see "Galliano's more exuberant, historical fantasia and unapologetic escapism of his last few seasons. But in its place was a commercially viable collection of the gorgeous dresses Galliano does best. No tricks, no dazzle, no dreaming. In a sense, that was what this show lacked: a full-throttle, white kuckle, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Galliano fantasia would have been a welcome antidote to a season all too aware of harsh realities." However, the reason I found this collection to be so inticing and different is because as extravagant as Galliano could have made his line, and gone along with the "space age" critique, he actually focused on the past. His obvious inspratation of malitary based clothing even though I've seen it done so many times was refreshing only because it did not look like at any second the modles were going to blast off into space. Galliano's line was and usually are as previously mentioned "unadulterated ludique that kept the collection just the right side of madcap" which is parcially wahat makes his art so inrefusably impecable. And yse, I would have to agree that this line was surprisingly lacking a little emotion, for a artist "whos d'etre is to break all the rules", and yes, the missing extravagance of the collection was sort of dissapointing, and yet, I was still pleased to see a colection of more street wearable garments as aposed to peices of high avant gard appeal. The colors incorperated by Galliano's Paris fashion week were also a nice touch I thought. "The british soilders worst fears for the journey home tomorrow. The stripped-back presentation not only reflected these stripped-back times." The reason I am appriciative of the collection is because of the simple fact that Galliano was inspired by the millitary influence, but did not stick to the coventional of generic colors of his muse.

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