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The eponymous label of the most controversial fashion designer of our times

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Review of John Galliano

Brand's DNA. 'John Galliano' as we know it today is a far cry from 'John Galliano' under his founder. In the past, the collections featured well-nigh insane phantasmagoric outfits that were essentially closer to haute couture than to pret-a-porter. Recently, they've been replaced with much more 'wearable' pieces. John Galliano's flamboyant legacy is preserved in camisole tops, tuxedos, full length skirts, and evening gowns, but now all with a distinct minimalist touch added to them.

Chic. The designers behind the label are doing their utmost for the brand's initial concept to come to terms with the Zeitgeist, which is a daunting task in the very least. John Galliano was partial to the imagery driven by his stream of consciousness based on an idiosyncratic reading of historical costumes of different ages, which is something thought of as passé nowadays. The latest collections by the brand are an attempt to look at civilian and military clothing of the 18th-20th centuries through the lens of our times.

Corporate history highlights. John Galliano is one of the most notorious personalities in the fashion world, who is known for his controversial collections and mischiefs. John Galliano was born in Gibraltar and graduated from Central Saint Martins with honours in Fashion Design in 1984. He launched his eponymous brand at the same year. The undertaking saw the light of the day thanks to the financial backing by Browns, a seminal fashion boutique that is also credited with discovering Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane. The owners of Browns greatly appreciated the graduate work by Galliano. Although the pieces by John Galliano have been hyped around for a long time, they were not selling well because of their overly avantgarde styles. At different stages of his career Galliano was inspired by a humbling range of influences from Japanese deconstruction fashion to the Russian woman in the 19th century to the cultural heritage of developing countries.

In 1994, the budding 'John Galliano' was struggling to survive. The brand was rescued by Vogue editors Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley who arranged for the meeting between Galliano and John Bult, the chairman of Paine Webber International. Relying on Bult's support, Galliano created his F/W 1994-1995 collection, which proved a huge success. ... Soon afterwards, Galliano was approached by Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, a luxury goods giant, who offered him the office of Head Designer at Givenchy.

Having worked for Givenchy for less than a year, Galliano moved to Christian Dior, where he stayed for the next 15 years alongside running his eponymous label. In 2011, he was ousted from Christian Dior when he was found guilty of racist and antisemitic abuse. During his reign at Christian Dior, the brand's turnover tripled. Galliano was skillful in creating irreal looks and orchestrating the shows with highly acclaimed drama. Galliano's work for Christian Dior is deemed unsurpassed by most of the critics.

In 2011, after a drunk Galliano allegedly declared 'I love Hitler' and told a group of Jewish women that their forefathers 'would all be f**king gassed', Christian Dior came under international pressure and laid off Galliano as well as sacked him from his own label. Bernard Arnault of LVMH said 'He will not be working for LVMH'. Galliano then became treated as an outcast of the fashion world. After a spell at rehab and a number of penitential interviews and TV shows, however, he was allowed to make a comeback. In 2014, he was appointed as Creative Director at Maison Martin Margiela. He was replaced by his long-time assistant Bill Gaytten as the creative director of 'John Galliano'.


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