Sunday, June 26, 2011

Galliano, Dior, Versace... What's New in Fashion This Week?


The John Galliano Models Looked Like ... John Galliano!

Today, the John Galliano spring 2012 men's show walked in Paris without John Galliano, who could not be there since he has been fired. Instead, his friend and right-hand man at the house, Bill Gaytten, headed the design team, and took a bow at the end of the show. And the label's CEO was right when he said yesterday that the design team would "truly capture the Galliano DNA." We'll say they captured it all right — not only was the post-apocalyptic, tailored, pirate look true to the brand, but ...

Look at the models! Some of them looked just like Galliano, down to the long, flowing hair, mustache, and unbuttoned shirt. Galliano often made his models look like him, so this was a really sweet gesture from Bill and the team.

Is John Galliano Getting A Second Chance?

Plenty of heavyweights in the fashion industry would like to forgive John Galliano for his drunken tirades,blamed in court this week on addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs. Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, currently in Paris covering the men's shows, would like to see him go back to work too, writing today, "He should have a second chance."

She reports that Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, "a decent man," encouraged Galliano to seek treatment for his addictions, adding:

Yet I can’t help but feel that Mr. Galliano’s problems were not sufficiently addressed, nor their potential liability faced, and that something like a status quo existed. His personality and showmanship were definitely part of Dior’s success, and maybe there was a fear of meddling with it.

And yet, LVMH is considering rehiring Galliano for the John Galliano line: On Thursday, I ran into a number of executives who work with LVMH, and they would speak only on the condition of anonymity because of their close dealings. One individual said there had been casual discussions among LVMH executives about the feasibility of Mr. Galliano returning to his own label. Would the media and the public accept his return? This individual said he thought so. 

Another executive with whom I spoke had the same view. He cited the appeal of Mr. Galliano’s ultrafeminine fashion and added that in recent years the designer had lost touch with that sensibility (and indeed reality). “It became a kind of Lady Gaga show, and he’s more talented than this,” the executive said.It certainly seems like the fashion industry would accept — and is in fact waiting for — his return. And many top designers, though not plagued by public outbursts in the same way as Galliano, have gone to rehab for drug and alcohol addictions and returned to designing. So, should Galliano — the man in this video — be reinstated at an international fashion powerhouse? He didn't deny his behavior in his trial this week, but made what he and his lawyers surely hope are good enough excuses.

During Fashion Week, it felt like almost every fashion writer with a blog or Twitter account or ticket to the Katy Perry concert had some authority from "on high" (read: probably not at all on high) about who would replace John Galliano at Christian Dior. Azzedine Alaïa was not one of the names cited by these "sources" and reported by these bloggers and tweeters at the time, but the Financial Times says the designer told the paper himself that he turned down Galliano's job at Dior. Vanessa Friedman writes:
Mr Alaia wasn’t interested. Flattered, but not about to pursue. The story of what happened with John was a sad story, he said when I asked him, and he didn’t want to be part of the next chapter. And that’s even before you got to the other stuff. 
The sheer fact that the Dior leadership was thinking this way does, however, make me think the field may be more open than the fashion world suspects.

Speculating as to why Alaïa turned down the job, Friedman wisely notes that not only is he in his seventies, but more important, he's the rare designer who has taken a stand against the ultra-, perhaps impossibly demanding nature of the fashion cycle:

Mr Alaia has been perhaps the most vocal advocate of all living designers about the need to change the fashion system, to slow it down, to stop the relentless demand for more collections and more store openings. Years ago he stopped having official fashion shows, and started showing, and delivering to stores, only when he was ready as opposed to when the schedule dictates. And one of the houses that most embodies that continuous pressure is Dior; indeed, when former designer John Galliano imploded, the pressures of the system were cited as major contributing factors.

Also, Alaïa has a pretty sweet deal with his namesake label, now partially owned by Richemont. "They leave me alone," he said. Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, which owns Dior, would go into Galliano's showroom and interrogate him about each piece of clothing, tell him he doesn't want to see certain handbags in stores, and make suggestions about the ad campaign. So it's a stressy life, but you knew that.

The fairy tale romance between supermodel Natalia Vodianova and English aristocrat Justin Portman is over. The couple – who have three children together Lucas, nine; Neva, five and Viktor, three – have separated after more than nine years of marriage.
While the rumour mill has long whirled with possible reasons (jealousy, infidelity - the usual suspects), Natalia won't be drawn. 'It's really sad. It has been a while. We didn't want to talk about it. We still don't. Our children are very much aware of it. It's OK. We're still in a very sensitive position right now, and trying to do things as amicably as possible, so I wouldn't want to talk about it at all. I don't think I ever will want to, because it's strictly between my husband and me.'

Rodarte Presents Couture Collection in Florence

There were audible gasps on Thursday evening as guests—meandering a raw, labyrinth of a space in central Florence that once housed a kitchen shop—beheld another Rodarte dress. The ten couture gowns, designed exclusively for Pitti W, were inspired by their Italian surroundings, specifically Fra Angelico’s frescoes, the monks’ cells at the convent of San Marco, and Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa—and illuminated by neon tubes against crumbling plaster, the suspended creations appeared almost sublime. Among the standouts was a pleated chiffon and tulle confection with peach feathers and a hand-forged gold belt and shoulder pieces. Had the collection not been gifted to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, it would surely have made for a show-stopping red-carpet ensemble. But, as Rodarte’s Kate Mulleavy pointed out, “You can always order one.

The highlight of the Versace men's show at Milan Men's Fashion Week yesterday was not the striped booty shorts or pink suits, it was Donatella — but isn't she always the highlight, in a way? — taking her bow at the end wearing a Versace for H&M dress. Versace is the next big-name designer doing a line for the affordable chain, even though Donatella said in 2008 that she respects designers who do these lines but didn't want to do one herself "because I work very hard to put the Versace line in the luxury section. I think to put the Versace line in H&M would confuse the brand." Perhaps to avoid confusion, H&M is billing the line as an "Iconic Collection."

The collection will be big and include two rollouts, one on November 17 including men's, women's, and homewear, and another prespring collection on January 19. The line consists of "iconic" archive Versace pieces repurposed for H&M. More from H&M's press release:

The womenswear collection will be dominated by dresses that express the spirit of the season, featuring studded leather, silk and colorful prints, and accessories including high heels and costume jewelry. The men’s collection will focus on sharp tailoring, including the perfect tuxedo, as well as belts and jewelry for men. For the first time in a designer collaboration at H&M, the collection will include homeware pieces including pillows and bedspread. 

H&M has not released any specific information on pricing, but that studded leather dress will not be H&M cheap. Versace cheap maybe, but not H&M cheap. So, who's excited?

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