Saturday, 27 August 2011

The F Word

A couple of days ago I came across this video of John Galliano's S/S 1997 show. As I melted with joy watching it, it dawned on me how much of a visionary Mr. Galliano is: this collection is just as wearable and fantastic now as it was 15 years ago (personally I would give anything for some of those embroidered silk palazzo pants and those silver-fringed scarves). Dior has now lost the most talented designer the brand ever had. And even if it signs Marc Jacobs as the new art director (which might work very well on the economic level- provided Mr. Jacobs can stand the pressure on the long run), the magic, glitz and high drama (as well as the immense knowledge of fashion history) for which we have known Dior for the last fifteen years (a lifetime in fashion) will be no more.
Well thank God there are at least these old videos on YouTube! Looking at Kate laughing, Nadja shaking it and Naomi walking like a panther I remembered that hey! fashion used to be cool, it used to be about fun, glamour and dreaming! Whatever happened? When did the fashion industry turn into yawn industry? When did fun-loving models turn into librarian-looking creatures too concentrated in trying not to fall from their 20 cm heels to fully seduce the public? And what about fashion insiders? Nowadays it's all about stylists and editors wearing gothic-punk hype labels and a bored expression, too darn modern to laugh or even smile. Everyone complains about fashion weeks being so busy and meaning so much work, but I can tell you if every show was like this one we would all forget about our duty to look fabulous for the heaps of bloggers photographing us at the entrance of shows, simply being thrilled by the collections instead.
Unfortunately, with Monsieur Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen gone, Christian Lacroix out of business and Galliano himself disgraced, we can only rely on Jean-Paul Gaultier and Sonia Rykiel for the much-needed fun and hope they will never retire. Of course time goes by and things happen, people sadly pass away, go bankrupt or accidentally destroy their careers; economical disasters take place and new ideas appear. I love some of the new concepts going on in fashion these last few years, some of the new designers are seriously talented and innovative. But I think in the midst of the crisis, the bleak prospects and the angst, young people (especially young people!) want to be reminded of how life can be fun and fabulous in spite of it all. So down with the furrowed brow: bring back the fun to fashion!

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