Dior Couture, For The 1950s Femme Fatale In You


The models in John Galliano’s Christian Dior haute couture collection walked out of a piece of sculpture that looked kind of like a giant mid-century-modern-style lamp, or a hovering spacecraft. They wore dresses in keeping with that theme.

Face of the brand Karlie Kloss opened the show.

The red eyebrows are part of Galliano’s elaborate nod to fashion illustrator René Gruau, whose work inspired Galliano.

Of course, Gruau created drawings for couturiers like Jacques Fath, Pierre Balmain, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Jeanne Lanvin, and Christian Dior himself. So in addition to being influenced by Gruau’s particular use of line, color and shading, Galliano’s collection was kind of necessarily influenced by those designers’ work itself.

So, a gorgeously made couture collection with a ’50s feeling. Hardly revolutionary for Galliano — that’s one of his favorite periods to reference — but lovely all the same.

Those belts appear to be little strips of crocodile skin, wrapped around and around the jackets.

Which reminds me that last fashion week, I saw a man backstage at a show wearing a black suit jacket and a black leather t-shirt — which proved to be, upon closer inspection, a kind of breastplate made from a crocodile skin. Crocodile rawhide. New trend for spring, I guess.

Galliano’s idea of couture, as always, is heavy on the gowns and evening suits, and light on anything that might be worn before the cocktail hour. Not that I’m complaining.

One of the fun things about the couture collections is that the models get to pull out all the kitschy, old-school runway poses — and they totally suit the fifties-timewarp atmosphere.

Iekeliene Stange! I’d recognize those cheekbones anywhere.

The way that Galliano represented Gruau’s cross-hatchings and shading with embroidery is very impressive on a technical level. To pull off Gruau’s washes of overlapping color, Galliano designed some of his garments with multiple tulle overlays. Each layer of tulle subtly changed the color of the underlying fabric.

Maternity eveningwear! Just what I’ve always wanted.

The finale look. That ribbon of ruffled, softly abraded fabric wrapping across the bodice and down the skirt is so beautiful.

Galliano himself made his appearance at the end wearing a look I call “Bellhop Pirate Elvis On His ’69 Comeback Tour.” Also known as, “Awesome.”

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