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style + fashion

the art of getting dressed.

John Galliano - FW 2011

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

John Galliano has been through so much in the last two weeks, it's hard to strip down the drama and focus on his talent.  aside from Dior, Galliano designs and shows his own private label every season, and last week in Paris, LVMH (who owns the majority stake in Galliano's namesake) agreed to still show the collection in a small presentation for editors and select press.  the setting was somber, yet beautiful, and the clothes were so beautiful, it only amplified the sadness felt by the fashion community.  Galliano truly is a master, and his fall 2011 collection was so perfectly done, it made everyone realize what kind of talent and creativity we are all in danger of losing.

the show focused on what Galliano loves so much... the 20's and 30's, with strong New Look influences and grand opulence with fur, feathers, hand-beading, and delicate silks.  truly one of his strongest and most cohesive collections i've ever seen, the show takes us through the closet of a mysterious woman who perhaps lost some of her status in the Great Depression, yet still has a closet full of rich, luxurious clothes and wears them in an effort to relive her heyday.  the sleeves of her jacket are a bit tattered maybe, but in a charming way, and her intricate updo, feathered hat, and the expert tailoring of her skirt remind everyone that she is a woman of intellect, humor, and creativity.

Galliano furthered the experience by showing us how this woman goes to dinner... in grand, voluminous chiffon, feathers, and beaded organza... (after the on!)

and for a rendezvous with her lover, a sweet, one-shouldered Grecian draped gown in romantic blush, bound in the back with a delicate, inviting ribbon...

Galliano's beautiful mind and stunning tailoring skills could not have chosen a more opportune moment to show through so vibrantly.  while his fate hangs in the balances at both Dior (where he was most recently fired) and his own label, he showed two of his strongest, most gorgeous collections yet, reminding the entire fashion community of what he gives us.  critics actually garnered this small collection of 20 looks as one of the best shown during Paris Fashion Week... a stage where names like Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel are the competition for best in show.  

i do not condone what Galliano said, nor do i know if it's what he even believes.  he has always celebrated diversity and change in his work, but we all have many facets of who we it's an unknown.  however, i will say that losing John as a designer will be an absolutely travesty to the fashion community...for editors, magazines, retailers, and the fashion-obsessed alike.  John Galliano is one of the few fashion designers left who's mind is still rooted in fantasy.  he is one of the last who truly infuses magic and whimsy into his clothes, transporting us to another place and time with each show.  i truly hope we don't lose him permanently to this drama.