Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Puppet Master
Paris, FRANCE - Yesterday in a vivid act of dazzling drama, John Galliano created a fierce fantasy on the stage of his Spring 2007 couture show with characters plucked straight out of Puccini’s masterpiece Madame Butterfly. Set against the backdrop of a winter wonderland worthy of the Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, these striking creatures clad in kimonos, obis and other fanciful designs teetered out on towering platforms with the grace a geisha would envy.
Everyone knows, John Galliano does couture best. For over a decade, he has designed spectacular creations for Christian Dior under Bernard Arnault’s watchful eye. Having once said, “my role is to seduce,” he most definitely accomplished that here. Even French VOGUE was so seduced to dedicate an entire issue to the man, the designer, the legend. And this season he went above and beyond playing with Eastern techniques of clothing design and even origami. But instead of folding squarely cut colorful paper; he used tulle, chiffon and silk.
Yet it wasn’t all Asian inspiration. Mr. Galliano deftly combined the east with western silhouettes from the turn of the century including tight pencil skirts, padded jackets cinched at the waist and platform heels. With the precision of any Kabuki specialist, he created remarkable characters in geisha makeup masks, making American beauty Angela Lindvall a dead ringer for Cho-Cho-San.
At the end of the spectacle, the master revealed himself dressed as Napoleon- a not so subtle allusion to himself as leader of this insane battle that is haute couture.
Final Word: No matter what you call him- designer, genius, emperor, Mr. Galliano is no doubt the king of all things theatrical, and he has wowed us yet again.