Monday, 9 June 2014

Fashback: Dior Couture A/W 2007

Problematic as Galliano may be, he is undeniably and unbelievably talented. There's true genius in his work. One particular moment of shining wonder was his A/W 2007 Dior Couture show. Now, the moment you enter the world of couture, the potential for genius is greater than any RTW collection might normally be. Couture is the freedom to create more as an artist would, rather than pandering to the satisfaction of buyers and customers alike. It's a celebration of the medium of dress.

It is probably apparent by now, especially if you follow me on tumblr (which you should, by the way), that I'm into the 18th century. My dissertation research is based in that period and though I'm a self-proclaimed modern minimalist, I have such a week spot for the fashions. Coppola's Marie Antoinette is one of my all-time favourite movies and I reblog any shoot inspired by her or the era. Ergo, the squeeing upon setting eyes on Galliano's collection.

I love the references to masquerade (the one night a year where tightly laced upper echelons of society let loose publicly - though masked - and got up to all kinds of debauchery), the elaborate hairstyles and headpieces of the era (fascinators, I raise you one better), the pastel shades, the bows, flounces and frills. Some looks were abstracted and modernised more obviously while others took silhouettes and ideas more directly and ran with them. And yes, some elements come from later and earlier periods but I doubt accuracy or limiting himself was a concern. Instead, spectacle was.

I remember seeing a video of poet Lily Myers talking about how women learn now to be untroublesome, to edit themselves and not take up too much space. These clothes recall a time before the Victorians and repression after repression when French women were welcome (to a degree) to contribute to intellectual debates among men and took up massive amounts of space shamelessly, without shame and men and women both dressed up elaborately without apology. I sometimes wonder how different the world would be if the good parts of the 18th century weren't later undermined? Where would we be, where would I be, now?

This has turned into somewhat of an ode to Galliano's collection but I feel it deserves it. He took a bunch of Supers (one profession where women consistently earn more than men) and celebrated women, celebrated a lost moment in history and being truly couture. But there's also bite and a sense of humour present. Something dark and perhaps referencing the past but wary of it at the same time. Not mindlessly nostalgic for something that may never have even existed.

Maybe I read more into/too much into clothes than most but they are literally part of the fabric of our lives. We carry them around with us, hold them against our bodies. Clothing is intimate, physical and sentimental. And fashion has been an expression of ourselves since before people actively talked about self-expression and the individual.

So, take a look-see, be awed and enjoy x

(Images via

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