This is horribly belated but I wanted to illustrate my almost redundantly late garblings on the Dior Haute Couture SS/07 show that had everyone crying ‘Galliano is God’ with these wonderful illustrations from my sister Louisa. The photographed images may be too painfully beautiful for me to get my point across. By now, we have all gushed, fawned, ooh-ed and ah-ed over the collection, entranced by its sweeping dramaticism, theatrical make-up (courtesy of Pat McGrath) and all the sumptuous, lavish detailing (if I go on like this, it will begin to sound rather like a 1910 issue of Lady magazine). I don’t believe in going along withe tide of unanimous declarations of ‘Oh that is beautiful’ and leaving it at that, nor do I want to begrudge credit where credit is due.
I was pulled in two directions to be honest. The sensical side of my brain was saying ‘That is such a pastiche of the Orient (it wasn’t just Japanese influences at play here).’ I have a very strong aversion to overly literal interpretations of traditional costume in fashion, hency why I’m not a fan of designers like Vivienne Tam or Shanghai Tang.
However the flipside is that perhaps that Galliano simply didn’t care about doing a pastiche and that it was a purposeful, forceful collision between his vision of the East (one that is unapologetically literal) and West. My second and closer impression of the collection was that there was actually more ‘of Chrstian Dior’s 1947 New Look underneath all the Chinoiserie. Above all, there is no getting away from the craftsmanship and work at stake and you know as well as I do it was almost an onslaught to the eyes seeing so much in just one ensemble, let alone seeing them one after the other. Everything was just so ‘overly’ – overly embellished, overly adorned and perhaps even overly accomplished. You know how in the movie Amadeus when someone complains of Mozart as having too many notes? Perhaps this the fashion equivalent but this time, having too many notes works to Galliano’s advantage.
Anyway, even if I get comments like ‘Err…. you’re about a month late!’, that is quite alright. This is purely here for the benefit of myself when I look back and think to myself ‘Wow….I really had too much time pondering about this stuff…..’