Gibraltarian-British fashion designer—John Galliano

May 2, 2009 at 8:22 am (Fashion)


John Galliano, a chief designer of Dior, born in 1960, Gibraltar. He was born to a Spanish mother and Gibraltarian father, and Spanish heritage remains an integral part of Galliano’s life and work. He lived in Gibraltar for six years, and then in 1966, he and his family moved to London. A cultural shock immediately impacted him. He went to school in London but wasn’t a outstanding in his school until he went to a design school where he belonged more. A very important thing that affected his whole life is his graduation collection, Les Incroyables’, of Central Saint Martins. By Galliano’s talents and efforts, his graduation collection received huge approval. “His whole line was hastily snapped up and put into the window of Browns boutique. Galliano left Central Saint Martins in 1983 with a first class degree and a healthy stockpile of critical acclaim.”


Most of successful people have been through tough ways. So do Galliano. Although he received the ‘British Designer of the Year’ award in 1987, he lost his backers and didn’t have enough money to show for several seasons. In early1990’s, he decided to go to Paris for a better life. Although he was in very bad conditions, his critical praise continued unabated. In Galliano by Colin McDowell, he describes Galliano’s conditions in this time:” Nobody can pretend that Galliano’s career has been smooth-flowing. Though he may graze the Elysian Fields now, the fashion world has been prepared to see him face ruin in the past, capable of doing little more than beating its collective breast and saying, ‘Poor John. A genius – but so uncommercial. “As a judgment, it is as arrogant as it is misinformed; a knee- jerk, unthinking reaction; a blatant piece of guilt- transference, a refusal to face the facts of the man’s career”.
In 1995 Galliano finally got the break he so richly deserved: he became the first English man to head a French couture house, when he was put in charge of Givenchy.
In Visionaries: Interviews with fashion designers, the author Susannah Frankel asked John Galliano: “How would you respond to the accusation that your clothes are not modern?” Galliano answered: “What’s modern? I believe what I do is modern, if you want to call it that. It’s just such an overused word. Modern to most people in this game is what? Gucci? Or Prada? That’s just their interpretation of modern but it’s still on historical take.” He really has faith for himself. And he is right, what he does is really what modern is in these days. He is a genius, but he also put a lot of efforts in his work.
About inspirations, in Visionaries: Interviews with fashion designers also says that “Balenciaga used to begin to select his fabrics for his next collection on the day of his press show. Few designers are so obsessed today. All take a break as soon as possible after the show. John Galliano normally goes away for a week, to do nothing more onerous than lie on a beach in the sun and unwind. When he comes back, the creative process starts all over again. Ideas he has been mulling over, sources not used or fully developed previously, are revisited. ”

The reason why I want to write John Galliano as subject is because he is the one of designers who really impacts me a lot. Before I came to the fashion department, I actually knew nothing about fashion. Until I first saw Galliano’s collections on, I was really surprised by his work that I suddenly realized that how wild and beautiful fashion can be. He combines many different cultures as his inspirations and transforms them into his designs. In spring 2008 couture, we can definitely see how he transforms those ideas in his collections for Christian Dior. The colors, silhouette of his designs are all used extremely well. Big hats, floral fabrics or big flowers decorations and are all appear in the spring collections. We sometimes can tell that some of his designs are inspired by Japanese kimono. Also, Latin influence sometimes can be seen in his collections. It is forgotten that John Galliano’s clothes in the 1980s had a strong linear quality and a bold sense of scale. The result of a highly developed and precise fashion sense, they were the qualities which raised his work above that of all the other fashion wunderkind jostling for attention in London at the time.


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