John Galliano: Maestro's Best Fashion Shows

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On the birthday of one of the most shocking and brilliant designers of our time, we remember the important moments of his career and the most famous fashion shows.

Is John Galliano a genius or a brawler?


John Galliano was born on November 28, 1960 in Gibraltar in a family of a plumber and a housewife. His passion for beautiful clothes came to him from his mother, who loved to dress up children and put on beautiful dresses, even if she went out for only five minutes. Later, the family moved to London, where Galliano entered Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. The show of his graduation collection was a triumph- the day after the show, a clothing line, inspired by the French grotesque, was displayed on the windows of the Browns department store. The first buyer was the singer Diana Ross - she bought a vest from the new-born genius of the fashion industry.


During his studies, Galliano worked at the National Theater - this position greatly influenced his future collections, which often contain elements of national and theatrical costumes. The designer has repeatedly said that in his youth he visited many nightclubs and his outrageous appearance was formed by partygoers’ stylish images. In the early 90s, John Galliano was interested in such iconic fashion houses as Balenciaga and Givenchy, but eventually businessman Bernard Arnault hired him to refresh the aesthetics of Dior, which by that time had acquired an unflattering prefix - “conservative” in the fashion world.

Galliano began to release 12 collections annually, and perhaps the most important moment of fashion shows was considered the designer’s exit.  Witnesses of shows often said that during the performances there was complete silence in the halls - so the audience was attracted by what was happening. In the fashion world, Galliano is called the "Dior resuscitator", and they say that there is only what Galliano does, and  everything else is somewhere far away.


In 2013, a fashion house with a scandal fired the designer for intolerant and rude statements in a drunken state. He sued former employers for a long time, but in the end he was ordered to pay the company a fine of $1. After that, John Galliano’s career tried times, which is just ending. Now the designer collaborates with Maison Margiela.

Each show of John Galliano’s new collection is a real theatrical performance and show. On the fashioner's birthday, we decided to recall his best shows, which brought him a reputation as a genius.

The first collection - 1984

John Galliano presented his first collection as a college thesis. It was called Les Incroyablesand was inspired by the French Revolution. You can also trace the influence of the Japanese avant-garde artists and deliberate grotesque in that collection. All those elements such as volumetric details elevated the femininity into a cult. With his first collection, Galliano reminded the fashion world that historical archives are a huge and unexplored layer, in which new ideas can endlessly be drawn. Many designers noted the Galliano's talent as a cutter, he was able to correctly combine asymmetry and elegance.

Russian Princesses and Kate Moss - 1994

The leitmotif of the 1994 collection was the story of the Russian Princess Lucretia, who managed to escape from the Royal palace and break free in search of herself. The main character of the show was young Kate Moss, who remained loyal to her genius even during the scandal with the Dior house, when almost everyone he knew turned away from him, and asked Galliano to make a wedding dress for her.

Later, the designer admitted that such a wide gesture of the model saved his career and faith in himself. “Creating a wedding dress for Kate was my creative rehabilitation. It literally saved me. Kate inspired me with hope, and I decided to prove that, despite everything they say about me, I remain myself - designer John Galliano."

Dedication to Rudolf Nureyev - 2011

One of the John Galliano’s idols was the dancer Rudolf Nureyev. The designer was delighted with everything about him - from powerful ballet movements to costumes and sets for his performances. As a result, he dedicated to his favorite one of the men's collections for the fall-winter 2011 season. It illustrates the four aspects of the dancer: his Tatar roots, life in ballet, love of the country and the inevitable emigration. The Russian theme was the designer’s favorite motif, he repeatedly returned to it, and considered the fur hat with earflaps to be the most stylish accessory.

Costumes of the Balkan peoples - 2009

The traditional costumes of the Balkan peoples became the inspiration for this women's collection, and folklore tales and legends became the source of ideas. The main elements were headdresses with an abundance of details and precious stones. The atmosphere of night mountains was recreated on the podium, and artificial snow was falling from the ceiling.

Maison Margiela Brand Collection - 2019

In 2014, John Galliano became the creative director of the French fashion house Maison Margiela. In 2019, he presented a collection, inspired by the military uniform of the beginning of the 20th century. The designer expressed his political activism and freedom in it. This show followed a new trend in the world of fashion and showed male and female images in one show.

The collection included coats resembling tunics, nurses’ hats and dresses with a train of parachute fabric. No performance and outrageous - it seems that now Galliano is just getting used to a new job and doesn’t want to attract too much attention, but in sources of inspiration he remains true to himself. We are sure that much in the designer’s career is still ahead and we will see his theatrical shows in the near future.

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