Day two of Paris fashion week and BDMOTP has an invite for the John Galliano showroom in the Marais. It’s not the type of invitation you simply ignore because this is the showroom of the man who needs no introduction, the bad-boy-boogie of fashion, he whose first name alone suffices to make a statement of swag, interest, and, aye, scandal – we can simply call him John (like Marc as in Jacobs, but not, for instance, like Calvin as in Klein). All know him and everybody knows about him – and even people outside the world of fashion have heard about Galliano as one of the foremost fashion designer icons of our day and age. But is perhaps our media-saturated celebrity culture catching up with us in that we like to fall in love with names and tags, rather than with a style, a trend, or a fashion? Let’s take a look in the showroom. Is there perhaps something very Galliano in here?
Paint – splattered loafers and black denim with a nice touch of orange rims. Nothing here really that would make us guess that this is a real Galliano – except the splatters and the shatters maybe. It has something distinctly Jackson Pollock however. Same passion, same style as Galliano? Maybe. Maybe it is the orange touch. Orange outré – meaning out of measure. Yes it is retro orange – like the faded color from a 1978 Volkswagen Beetle – très outré – very John, so very Galliano, Crayola Orange rims on the heels. Maybe. No clear signature however. Just a touch of a concept of a recognizable design in the make.
Or how about this equally poisonous Pantone Orange ‘costume’? Here we do see a real agent-provocateur at work in the design but you have to look closely. Yuck, cigarette pipe pants which are too short. Now that really puts the capital U in the word ugly. Does anyone like to see my ugly socks maybe this summer? This has the feel of an early seventies retro beat party before the onset of wide-piped wing pants. One could imagine a pale and long-haired Brian Jones in it somewhere lost in the corner of a room of a flat, alone, stretched and laying long across a dirty couch, at an English rock band after party. The forgotten man. Ugly too that faux-zip-down-checkered col roulé.
Ah, so now we are talking. Here is a real Galliano. Very recognizable. Unforgettable. BDMOTP loves the rucksack and backpack made from the same material as this metallic club shirt in electric blue pictured above but then in rose gold (not pictured here but you surely get the drift). It’s worse than hideous. It’s monstrous. Scandalous. And deliciously pretentious. It’s the kind of item mom warned you about never to buy but for fear of provoking the neighbors into calling the police for unknown, unsubstantiated, and above all, anonymous reasons. A real monstrous Galliano. The invisible threads of the master provocateur worked deep into its pulsating veins. An instant hit for those who dare to wear it. It’s alive …
The master himself, of course, shines through absence from the small showroom as we visit and take a few pictures. And as fashion showrooms go during fashion week in Paris, this does not look like much, and it’s almost as if it was set up in a hurry or abandoned after an opening too soon, the designer having left quickly to go somewhere else more importantly, more darkly perhaps, and most probably more interestingly.
But we now know that in the veins of the collection on display lurks an unseen danger, a poisonous sting detrimental to those who are not immune, a daemon perhaps ready to explode.
Caveat Emptor. Buyer beware.
Story by Sandro and photos by Mous except the last picture of Mr Galliano which is from Reuters.