John Galliano RTW FAll 2009

After sending his Dior girl on a Persian jaunt, Galliano looked to Russia for his own line. The result was a lineup that was as fantastic as it was fantastical.

After sending his Christian Dior girl off on a Persian jaunt, John Galliano also looked Eastward for his own collection — albeit to the far reaches of Eastern Europe. The result was a lineup that was as fantastic as it was fantastical. In fact, the only complaint is that his high-drama designs begged for more-elaborate staging, and the runway’s faux snowstorm, though visually appealing with its added laser lighting, only had guests coughing up a storm of their own.


But on to the beautiful clothes. The collection was one big love letter to Russia and the surrounding Baltic lands. At first, the folksy notes came out in the added extras — lavish embroideries, tassels and tufted pom-pom appliqués grafted onto great coats, some cut with wide panniered hips and seriously structured volume. Then out spilled the puffy peasant blouses, kicky milkmaid getups and Ruska Roma gypsy fare, flamboyantly styled with fancy headdresses, coin jewelry and insane lace-up pom-pom boots. Silhouettes were dramatic, including jackets with trailing sleeve appendages, as was the designer’s color sense — in that saturated blue and purple jacket with hot pink piping, for instance.


From there, Galliano brought his Russian caravan to Scheherazade terrain, with a harem of models in delicate yet seductive eveningwear cast in shimmery silver or white hues. He delivered on wistful dresses, a pretty off-the-shoulder fringed number and those sheer bias-cut gowns of his, rendered Theda Bara-like bewitching.


The collection was ultracostumey, yes, but not without the possibility of runway-to-reality transitions. Pare down a pannier, add a lining or two, and you’ve got some great clothes — still flush with Galliano enchantment.

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