The gauntlet has been thrown down. In a spectacular showing of extravagance and audacity, John Galliano on Monday night took the notion that low-key and easy-breezy is the way to go for resort and tore it to shreds.
The gauntlet has been thrown down. In a spectacular showing of extravagance and audacity, John Galliano on Monday night took the notion that low-key and easy-breezy is the way to go for resort and tore it to shreds. Or rather, he jacquard-ed, jeweled, feathered, retro-ed and coiffed it to the hilt, while sending the message that cruise chez Christian Dior is far from calm.
Once again, Galliano chose to unveil this particular collection in New York. But unlike last year, when he sent out a perfectly fine but ultratame, Americanized lineup, here was an exuberant feast worthy of the season's now widely accepted status as the year's biggest single seller at retail. The show featured a riotously colorful, lavish amalgam of Vreeland-era styling that combined shades of Marrakech, Babe Paley and house iconography presented against the backdrop of a star-studded front row — Dior perfume face Charlize Theron, Penélope Cruz, Kylie Minogue, Ellen Pompeo and can't-stay-home-stripper Dita Von Teese (see Fashion Scoops, opposite page) — and the gorgeous vistas provided from the 50th floor of 7 World Trade Center.
All of which made for a remarkable, controversial show. Fashion-wise, fabulousness reigned, although some will surely knock the sky-high retro quotient, not confined to the beauty alone. But with plenty of innocuously charming little dresses out there, do we really need more from so masterful a creator as Galliano? So let him indulge himself with chichi hobble dresses or a grande dame hostess ensemble in sumptuous blue-and-silver brocade (not to mention jeweled marabou-trimmed coats over bikinis). Yet, let's not overlook the real-clothes quotient. Prices aside, and these are up there, Galliano offered plenty of dazzlers, albeit for high-profile gals: vibrant suits with swingy or tulip skirts, lean constructed dresses including a bow-front strapless beauty, a jewel-neck smock frock and floaty Talitha Getty regalia. And oh, yes, gorgeous handbags. No one, however, could make a runway-to-reality argument for one particularly outrageous shoe style, a stiletto balanced on several ball fixtures attached to the soles. The shoes proved so treacherous that, after the model Milana Bogolepova fell several times, a guard had to help her off the runway and backstage, where she was found teary-eyed after the show.
Of greater significance than the rhetorical matter of whether fashion needs more silly shoe sculptures is the issue of how resort should be presented. On Friday evening in what promises to be another extravaganza, Karl Lagerfeld will present Chanel cruise at the Santa Monica Airport in Los Angeles. Last year, after six long weeks of sundry presentations, WWD surveyed the industry for opinions on whether, given the significance of the season, resort should be condensed into a more formal collections season, with houses showing either on the runway or in alternative presentations. Many designers and executives noted that, for some companies, even a small third show would prove prohibitively costly. Some also predicted that formal shows could take resort down the path of spring and fall, with entertainment-editorial considerations trumping the "real clothes" essence of the season.But clearly, such concerns don't register at Dior. This is one of fashion's great powerhouses creatively, financially and historically. For now, at least, Galliano — and presumedly Messrs. Arnault and Toledano — want to remind us of that multitiered might at every turn.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast