AN ENGLISH IN PARIS: A new coffee table book focuses on John Galliano’s creations for Dior, from the midnight blue satin slip dress that Princess Diana wore at the 1996 Met Gala to a canary yellow tulle dress from her latest haute couture collection for the maison French in 2011, inspired by the illustrator René Gruau.
The 448-page tome, published by Assouline, is the fifth volume in the series that Dior is publishing telling each creative director of the brand. Written by Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu’s curator in charge of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it features photographs by Laziz Hamani along with images by the likes of Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh and Paolo Roversi.
“It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of John’s work, particularly his work at Dior, which we’ve been actively collecting over the years,” Bolton said in a statement provided to WWD.
“[Christian] Dior and John share so many similarities: they are both diehard romantics and inspired storytellers, they both have a deep respect for history and they both appreciate and understand the creative possibilities of haute couture, “he said.
“John’s genius was extending and expanding Dior’s aesthetic language through new transfigurations and aligning his fashions with the spirit of the times. His work at Dior embodies the fantasy and escape from reality of the 1990s and early 2000s. Indeed, if it hadn’t already existed, history would have had to invent it, ”Bolton added.
Galliano’s appointment has sparked a wave of shock in the fashion industry, with many upset that a British designer with no experience in haute couture should be given the reins of one of France’s most legendary brands.
From 1997 to 2011 it marked the history of fashion with extravagant collections inspired by everything from the Masai people to the ancient Egyptians, evoking muses including Marlene Dietrich and the Marchesa Casati. He also became known for his theatrical bows, wearing costumes including a matador outfit and a spacesuit.
“The project was incredibly meaningful to me, as John and The Met have a long history together,” Bolton said. “During his time at Dior, John often visited the museum for inspiration and over the years we have included so many of his haute couture creations in our exhibitions. In fact, if I had to count the amount of pieces we showed, they would be the equivalent of a solo show. “
The British designer holds a complex place in Dior’s history: celebrated during his 15-year tenure for his irreverent reinvention of the brand founded by Christian Dior, he was ousted in 2011 after uttering racist and anti-Semitic slurs in a Parisian café afterwards. to a series of quarrels between drunks.
Galliano later sought a cure for his addictions and returned to fashion in 2014 as the creative director of Maison Margiela. Dior recognized his contribution to the house by including his work in its successful 70th anniversary exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 2017.
“Dior John Galliano 1997-2011,” available in English or French, will be available for pre-order on January 11, before its official release on February 15, a spokesperson for the house said.
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