January 30, 2011

Paris invaded by hordes of Tartars – in John Galliano’s show


I’ve decided to do my homework properly for the menswear collection season under this Paris Fashion Week, so I gathered considerable documentation from specialized books, international literature in particular, because, in this line of business, our literature is even thinner than a Somali undernourished child still in its zygote stage.

Nevertheless, I had my empiric theory deconstructed in a Bucharest bookshop where I happened to find valuable information starting from how to get the desired visual expression by modelling one’s shape assisted by clothes to the dissection of each and every item of one’s outfit. And they were not just random pieces of information, but data set against a sound historical background of the costume and the art in general. It couldn’t have been otherwise since the book entitled “Man and Fashion” was authored by Adina Nanu and Ovidiu Buta.

And it is again a book which provided inspiration to the fascinating John Galliano. Reading about the life of Rudolf Nureyev, the Fall/Winter ‘11-’12 menswear collection recreated, in the designer’s flamboyant style, the wardrobe of the Russian ballet dancer of Tartar descent.

And so, Galliano’s models turned into the pieces of Nureyev’s dressing puzzle, evoking his style in all the facets he ever put on: as USSR emigrant, excellent ballet dancer, fashion icon in the artistic circles of New York, London or Paris and ethnic Tartar in a sea of pure Aryan Westerners.

Once in the room, I was feeling as if I were a supporting character in a blockbusting thriller. Gigantic chandeliers fallen to the ground defeated by their own burden, accompanied by patinated mirrors reclining on one side and propped by antic chests wrapped in furs and multicolour ethnic carpets lying close to an out of tune piano, guarded by a Russian printed panel, all this gives you the impression that a surprise guest from the underworld might at any time come and sit by your side. But I don’t think phantoms are that much into fashion, although, a little diversity wouldn’t do any harm at all, because I for one am kind of bored with Casper the friendly ghost’s white dull sheet.

Anyways, I had no lifeless colleagues, but I did enjoy an unprecedented concoction of styles and materials blended in Galliano’s exultant imagination so craftily so as not to be ever rivalled. Because Galliano and Galliano alone has the ability to make massive wool or leather overcoats especially treated to look as if worn by several generations, tight pants indecently fitting the body, blood-red shirts trimmed in glaring gold coins and covered by waistcoats lavishly embroidered with ethnic majestic golden patterns, thick layers of furs, huge tribal Siberian hats and luxuriant turbans coexist in harmony in the same show.

So, were we lost for words, it was not on account of some ghostly apparition, but because John Galliano always knows how to spice up a show and make it savoury. I must confess I am still haunted by the eerie encounter with him last season, because his personality has a seductive je-ne-sais-quoi, I can only assume it is called talent.

Photo credit : http://it.paperblog.com