Inside story behind John Galliano's Christian Dior show?

30 September 2008


We knew there was no-one better to explain what really went on behind the scenes in creating John Galliano's Christian Dior show yesterday than his long-time friend and backstage ally Camilla Morton. Just a few hours after the show finished the fashion author opened up to Grazia Daily about how the collection had come together.
‘I have just crawled back to my room - the dust from the churned up entrance to the Tuilleries where the VIP limos and the set construction teams collide still leaving a trail behind me... The show finished over two hours ago and John has only just finished doing all the meet and greets, kisses and interviews that befits a collection like this and then it's off to Patrick Demarchelier's opening. But, before I pass out, which I hope is not before my cheese burger and fries comes to my room (and my rescue), what can I tell you about the collection? It was called Tribal Chic and that is exactly what it was. Strong, noble Dior Deities marched up onto the runway: a perspex and grey forest of trees designed by Michael Howells, a strong back beat and out came Spring/Summer ‘09. Orlando Pita created the hair - crimped twists of hair and blunt modern fringe - a blend of Masai meets the girl of today. Pat McGrath added sheen, an almost 'metallic' glimmer to the make-up as John wanted the faces to be beautiful, clean, strong and a canvas for their character. Then, all that was left was the clothes. The main idea was sexy, short, studded, structured. Waists were fitted, slim, belted, with studs and python. Skin and skins (suede, leathers, croc) were sculpted and worn with short, flirty plissé skirts, and the key thing next summer at Dior was to show your skin, be comfortable in your own skin (and luxury skins) and show it. John loves to travel. It's what really inspires him and, last Christmas, he spent a few days staying with a Masai tribe, living with them and being part of their tribe. His experiences were heavily reflected in the show. But he also loves to mix and blend elements you wouldn't expect. Did you see the shoes? No-one fell over, but the heel is incredible! It's a ‘Deity Heel'. John looked at his own archives, to his very first haute couture show, for the 50th anniversary of the house, when he took the Masai and Belle Epoque. There was a hat (created by the legend Stephen Jones) that was all carved in wood and had all these goddesses, fertility goddesses, deities. He took this image and reworked it in an abstract way and used this as a new heel. A new platform, a new pedestal for his own deities! Abstract, contemporary, sexy these were the words that John used to describe his Tribal Chic. The atmosphere was electric backstage as always at Galliano. You are a mix of tears and joy. Every emotion is exaggerated as it is one great big team effort. It's like crowd surfing, holding your breath, a leap of faith - yet he never fails to wow, never ceases to amaze me. The room was under his spell. It's the sort of thing little girls dream of (and there were enough of them on the front row), and never grow out of dreaming of, which is lucky because - leaving the last word with John - he says his job is to make women dream, and with this collection (and a knock on the door from room service) that is just what I'll do.'

- Camilla Morton, Author of A Year in High Heels

Check out and rate the pictures from backstage below - including the amazing sky-scraper heels!


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