The fashion world today has been met by the not-entirely-surprising news that John Galliano is preparing for something of a catwalk comeback. For years, Galliano was feted as one if not THE most talented designers of his generation, having swiftly climbed the ranks from penniless Central Saint Martin’s graduate to Creative Director of Christian Dior, including the brand's many lines from haute couture to ready to wear as well as the various lines of accessories and fragrances each one entailed.
A Christian Dior haute couture look from 2011
Then came his spectacular downfall, after which he kept a low profile, during which time the rumours about what he might be doing next, from a Topshop line, to the re-invention of the House of Schiaparelli or Kate Moss’s wedding dress – only one of which proved to be true – appeared more regularly than any public sightings of the man.
What did surprise us, though is that he’ll be assisting, whatever that means, behind the scenes at New York designer, Oscar de la Renta’s design studio ahead of his New York Fashion Show next month. While no details have been released of what his role will be – whether he’ll be designing half the collection and Oscar the other, whether he’ll be styling the final looks or helping fit the models, who knows? – let’s just forget that and look at some of the London creative’s most fabulous fashion moments, and imagine which of his trademarks he’ll be importing to the New York catwalk of Mr De La Renta...
John Galliano for Christian Dior AW2011 AND Gemma Ward channels the 1920's in 2012
1. 1920s Flapper Style
It's been an influential trend for more than a couple of seasons, hype for the Baz Luhrman film adaptation of The Great Gatsby is building steadily. Anything like this look from AW2011 put us in mind of Galliano muse and star of the forthcoming film, Gemma Ward. Spiffing!
A pink Galliano design from SS2010 AND Sharon Stone wearing red Christian Dior
2. Red and Hot Pink
Both Galliano and ODLR are best known for their extravagant eveningwear and floor-sweeping gowns. Galliano likes to dip his brush into every colour in the palette, and some of his most iconic pieces have been rendered in red or hot pink, which are ODLR’s trademark.
Heidi Klum in Galliano, Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta
Both designers worship at the altar of ultra femininity and neither designer shies away from a bustle here or a hoop skirt there. ODLR was famous for creating the inauguration gowns for several first ladies; that Michelle Obama did not commission him for hers is a fact he has never quite recovered from, bless him. Daphne Guinness is right at home in Galliano's theatrical pieces, and, as a friend of his and resident of New York, we wouldn't be surprised to see her at the show.
Kate Moss marries in custom-made John Galliano
4. Bias cut slips
Kate Moss is the most famous fan of Galliano’s bias-cut (meaning on the diagonal) slip dresses, inspired by lingerie and nighties. We’ll put our money on at least one of the following; bias cut on the runway and Lady Moss on the front row for the show. John Galliano shows (more so than Dior) also often rendered these in transparent fabrics like tulle and chiffon – which would fit right in any 2013 trend report.
Galliano's shows most usually featured Stephen Jones' amazing hats
5. Flamboyant hats
Will the models be be-hatted? Galliano had a career-long partnership with dapper London milliner Stephen Jones, who dressed the heads of his models for Dior couture and ready to wear models as well as Galliano’s eponymous label. And very magnificent they were too.
So Krazy Kolour hair-dos and nu-rave clown faces? Much as we’d love it to be the case, we doubt that some of Galliano’s most memorable styling touches (usually from makeup supremo Pat McGrath and hair stylist Orlando Pita) will feature in Oscar De La Renta’s Autumn Winter 2013 collection, as he is much more of a clean face, side-parting kinda chap. But never say never... Bring on NYFW!