Christian Dior F/W 2011: Galliano’s Romantic Renegades

After the scandal came the show (the huge crowd seemingly oblivious to the rumoured boycot) and, while it may have been a swan song of sorts, few in the history of fashion can claim to have been as dramatic.

Rebels, renegades and lashings of theatrical romance have always been Galliano’s hallmark and his final collection for Dior was no exception to the rule. Mulberry and striking red fox fur, velour and satined midnight blues, victoriana cameo-choker detailing, Cavalier head-gear, and THOSE thigh-high boots.


Day-wear saw Bohemian highwaymen meet dashing Royalists in autumnal tweeds with a slightly fetishistic twist whilst the evening-wear swept in with elegant tiers of ruffles and ruching in bewitching black sheers to give beautifully bad boudoir appeal alongside candy floss creations that oozed saccharine savoir fair.

Gorgeous. Theatrical. Indelibly Galliano.

Head here to view the entire collection.

The New Romantics: S/S 2011

Britain may have a face like a smacked arse right now but whilst Spring does it’s very best to emerge from behind the sleet-grey backdrop of winter, romance is once again rearing it’s whimsical head and stretching out its languorous lace-clad limbs on the high street.

Of course it’s not all lace, think back to s/s 2010’s fetish for layering sheers and chiffon and add a dash of theatrical decadence. That’s the new romantic.

Now, time for your mandatory shot of runway inspiration…

Think déshabille chic and work sheers in dramatic layers for 20’s-nouveau-meets-art-house appeal a la John Galliano’s ready-to-wear collection based on the life and nefarious pursuits of Maria Lani – a Polish émigré who conned Paris’ artistic elite during the late 1920’s (read more about her here)

John Galliano S/S 2011 RTW

For something altogether more virginal why not reference Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring collection and work the table-cloth aesthetic (and no…I’m not joking…and it’s FABULOUS) – delicate tatting, sheer whites, crochet and beautifully executed broderie anglaise.

Okay, so virginal in a wild, animalistic, Wuthering Heights’ Cathy kind of way.

Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2011

Or, given the season – Golden Globes, Oscars…anyone? – why not look to Donna Karan’s breath-taking red-carpet chic…beaded applique, silk, tulle and (of course) sheers…*sigh*

Donna Karan S/S 2011

Of course if all that soft-focus, gentle femininity is too much for you, you can always rock it up with black leather (I recommend the Burberry cropped biker). Who said romance had to be good?

Look du Jour: Frock Fantasy

I’m in the mood for some pretty, powder-pink, airy-fairy, cute-as-a-button, princess frock frivolity. Give me fantasy, daydreams and a romp through the wilderness with a knight in super sharp Armani paired with Grenson brogues wielding anything but a man bag…sigh. Otherworldly escapism with a side order of whimsy please – and hold the fainting (damsel in distress? Me thinks not).

Back to the outfit – a minxy thigh-skimmer of a hemline, peep-toe neutral wedges and socks and nailing the hot as hell asymmetric trend (look to 3.1 Phillip Lim and RM by Roland Mouret for references) this look couldn’t be more now. Details wise, the chic frayed edging of the under-shorts is VERY Prada’s s/s 2010 distressed graphic silks; deconstruction contrasted to perfection with the Rodarte-esque romance of that diaphanous one-sleeve wonder.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me…I’ve a wilderness to get back to…

Photograph/ Styling by Frida Johnson: Blog

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The Incroyable Monsieur Galliano

Article first published as The Incroyable Monsieur Galliano on Blogcritics.

Four times British Designer of the Year, with a sell-out graduate collection, his own label, and the top spot at the helm of French couture flagship Dior: the “mad genius of fashion” has more than enough credentials to justify his position as one of the most influential and dynamic designers of the modern age.

Born in Gibraltar, raised in London, and educated at Central St. Martins, Galliano’s ascension to the upper echelons of the fashion elite has played out like a modern-day fairytale, with Fairy-Godmother-come-editorialista Anna Wintour helping to iron out those tricky financial creases and propel him from creative darling of the demi-monde to a critical and commercial design behemoth.

Galliano’s collections give us a vision of fantasy toying with reality, inspired by everything from Bollywood kitsch (s/s 2003) to the frontiers of American Gothic (a/w 2006) and on to the film noir glamour of his s/s 2010 collection for Dior. Harking back to the dawn of cinema, the era of the silent movie—powdered doll-like faces, vividly defined Clara Bow lips, and gossamer-fine dresses layered with a powerfully nostalgic laissez faire—Galliano’s signature line for spring 2010 conjures up a kind of art-house vintage beauty, an image of faded yet enduring bohemian allure played-off to perfection against the trappings of modern-age technical wizardry.

Given the often dizzying juxtapositions, left-field muses, and overarching theatricality, ‘fantasy’ in Galliano’s work is about as far removed from a namby-pamby Disneyfied fantasia in soft-focus as it is possible to get. Rather, we are presented with a visceral, vivid, brazen self-awareness which decimates conceptual barriers between often disparate themes and ideas and reconstructs them as a histrionic nonesuch of elaborate brilliance accented with a needle-sharp irony which is sheer magic and sheer Galliano.

Inspired by the “attitude and anarchy of the London rock scene” and promising to inject some quirky chic back into urban street style, his hotly anticipated (and utterly wearable) menswear diffusion line ‘Galliano’ is due to hit stores this Fall: head over to to view more of the collection. Here’s hoping that womenswear will be next on the agenda…keep those fingers crossed ladies!

All images courtesy of

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Look du Jour: Wear Your ♥ On Your Shoes!

It’s an affaire du coeur, an epic love story in lace, fanciful florals and those wonderfully wistful Westwood shoes…sigh. I think I’ve come over all starry-eyed…

Photo by Shan Shan over at Tiny Toadstool

Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon Heart Shoes s/s 2010

Love…or slavish lust? Who cares…I NEED these shoes!

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