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John Galliano for Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear, Spring/Summer 1999

Paula Alaszkiewicz

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In late 1996, after a relatively short tenure at Givenchy, it was announced that John Galliano would replace Gianfranco Ferré at fellow LVMH-owned Christian Dior. His arrival at Dior corresponded with the house’s fiftieth anniversary and Galliano’s first task was to create an haute couture collection. The show was staged in a recreated couture salon and featured Galliano’s signature theatricality. Drama of presentation later culminated with the fall/winter 1998–1999 couture show “A Voyage on the

John Galliano, Spring/Summer 1990

Paula Alaszkiewicz

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The unexpected success of John Galliano’s graduate collection for Saint Martin’s School of Art in 1984 led to an account with the London department store Browns and opportunities for financial backing. Galliano immersed himself in the creative process, with little concern for business matters. In 1987 he was announced as British Designer of the Year; he would receive the award again in 1994, 1995, and 1997. Galliano had been active in the London club scene during his time at Saint Martin’s. This

John Galliano, Fall/Winter 1994–1995

Paula Alaszkiewicz

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In 1990, John Galliano moved from London to Paris. His early years in Paris are described as an ebb and flow, mostly determined by financial backing or the lack thereof. Cycles of decline and regrowth have since characterized the public perception of Galliano. After forgoing the previous season due to lack of funds, Galliano’s spring/summer 1994 collection was presented in the Louvre’s Cour Carrée to critical acclaim. In March 1994, pieces from the collection were celebrated in a Vogue editorial

Rifat Özbek, Spring/Summer 1991

Lucy Adjoa Armah

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Rifat Özbek’s spring/summer collection of 1991 exemplifies his ability to successfully commoditize the very essence of ethnicity without alienating the young, creative, Western urbanites who were his collaborators and would eventually become his customers. This situates him as an early agent in the emergence of a cosmopolitan aesthetic in fashion. As today’s industry becomes increasingly provincialized and the big four fashion capitals have to cede some of their influence to satellite sites, Özbe

Camouflage on the Catwalk

Ariel Beaujot

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The camouflage pattern that is so ubiquitous in Western clothing styles was developed to hide machinery during World War I; it only became a pattern for clothing for troops in World War II. “Camo” is key for war because it helps items blend into the background and it disrupts the shape of forms. Largely because of Army Surplus Stores, camo became a pattern used in street fashion in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The meaning of camo in this period varied from antiwar protest to a reconnection with n

Futurism

Fruzsina Bekefi

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This article examines futurism in fashion in the twentieth century and it will focus on the work of designers between 1970 and 2000. It characterizes the theme, its meaning, and relevance during different eras by charting its progression from the fashions promoted by Italian futurists to the utopian designs of the space age. It also explores how contemporary designers have interpreted futuristic trends. Futuristic fashion is shown to intimately reflect on the conditions of existence in years to c

“Coiled Corset,” Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen, Fall/Winter 1999

Kate Bethune

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The “Coiled Corset” is an example of radical body adornment made by jeweler Shaun Leane for fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s collection “The Overlook” (fall/winter 1999). Leane, who originally trained as a jeweler and goldsmith, first worked with McQueen in 1995, when he made silver watch chains for his “Highland Rape” collection (fall/winter 1995). His creative collaborations with McQueen soon propelled him to work with new materials and on a much larger scale to create elaborate body sculpt

Alexander McQueen’s “Bumster” Trousers

Kate Bethune

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Alexander McQueen’s “Bumster” trousers caused a sensation as one of the most provocative designs of the 1990s. McQueen redefined the silhouette with the Bumsters by cutting the waistband two inches below that of hipster trousers to elongate the torso and expose the lower spine and top of the buttocks. Although a prototype pair was made in late 1992, Bumsters first appeared on the catwalk in McQueen’s inaugural show, “Nihilism” (spring/summer 1994). Reappearing in collections including the controv

Kurt Cobain

José Blanco F.

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, was born on 20 February 1967 in Aberdeen in the state of Washington. He became the salient figure in grunge music, a style that developed in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the middle of the 1980s and achieved global popularity in the early 1990s. Grunge is a style of alternative rock based on accented percussion, heavy electric guitar riffs, electronic distortion, and loud—often howling—vocals. Nirvana, formed in 1988, became one of the most

Hussein Chalayan, Spring/Summer 1995

Barbara Brownie

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Hussein Chalayan’s spring/summer 1995 collection, entitled “Temporary Interference,” was his second commercial collection. It contributed to establishing Chalayan not only as a fashion designer, but as a philosopher and artist for whom clothes are a medium for provoking questions and symbolizing complex notions about human ambition. With this collection, Chalayan explores man’s ill-fated attempts to elevate himself to the status of the divine. Helium-filled balloons pull full-length slip dresses

Arabella Pollen

Katy Conover

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Silver

Emma Davenport

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Historically, the color silver was very expensive to produce as it involved creating threads from both silver and gold metal before being wound with other fibers. While associated with cultural symbols of femininity and modernity, the color has also been linked with tradition and nostalgia. On the catwalk, it has been used by a variety of designers including Thierry Mugler, Isaac Mizrahi, Alexander McQueen, and Paco Rabanne. Since the 1970s, fashion trends associated with the color silver have in

Orange

Emma Davenport

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Associated with cultural symbols of devotion and vitality, the color orange has been worn to convey confidence in status and belief, with its vivid ability to draw attention to itself. Yet, this demand for recognition also makes it a suitable color to convey a warning, or signal danger to others. Toward the end of the twentieth century, designers such as Gucci, Michael Kors, Helmut Lang, and Vivienne Westwood increasingly used orange in their collections in an effort to reference both technologic

Kate Moss

Karen de Perthuis

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Kate Moss is one of the world’s most photographed women, a blank slate for contemporary dreams and desires. With a career spanning three decades, she is a rare enduring phenomenon in an industry defined by ephemerality and a brutal quest for novelty. In the summer of 1988, she was fourteen when spotted by model agent Sarah Doukas at JFK airport—a bored teenager from the London suburb of Croydon with almond eyes, cupid-bow lips, and “God-given bone structure.” She would soon become a fashion model

Ann Demeulemeester, Spring/Summer 1992

Elisa De Wyngaert

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The spring/summer collection of 1992 was Ann Demeulemeester’s first fashion show in Paris. She presented her looks alongside other young avant-garde Belgian designers, including Martin Margiela. The silhouettes of the collection featured some elements which would later become known as Demeulemeester’s signatures: feathers, a strong cut, and a kind of androgyny blended with poetic femininity. Yet these silhouettes also deviated from the monochromatic feel of her later work. Furthermore, Patti Smit

Christian Lacroix, Spring/Summer 1997

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Lacroix will forever be known as the man who invented the high femininity look during the 1980s. His use of poufs, miniskirts, and corsets may not have been intended to start a debate, but that was the reaction, and his work even became the focus of a chapter of Susan Faludi's feminist tome Backlash. His spring/summer collection of 1997 showed his signature styles with French and ethnic influences. The rise of minimalism caused his look to fall out of favor, but his career continued as a creative

Ralph Lauren, 1994

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Ralph Lauren specializes in promoting an idealized romantic lifestyle, whether it is the WASP-y life of inherited privilege in the northeast, the rugged individualism of the American cowboy, or British colonialism in Africa. However, for this collection Lauren took a different path, featuring military-influenced styles in khaki fabrics juxtaposed with flowing dresses that strongly resemble the traditional Vietnamese ao dai costume, complete with models styled in conical non la leaf hats. Although

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano, Fall/Winter 1997–1998

Waleria Dorogova

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Following his enthusiastically celebrated debut at Dior, for his second couture collection, John Galliano staged another highly theatricalized défilé in the notoriously gallant environment of the Jardin de Bagatelle. It was the first set design in a series commissioned from Michael Howells, who created complementing backdrops for Galliano’s garments and scenography. Aesthetical measures established in the first show for spring—traditional visual codes and the sartorial heritage of Christian Dior,

Vivienne Westwood, “On Liberty,” Fall/Winter 1994

Lydia Edwards

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

“My job, more than anything, is to idealize women,” Vivienne Westwood has said of her work, including the fall/winter collection “On Liberty,” which premiered in Paris in 1994. Her appropriation of historic styles is well known, but in this collection a reinvention of the bustle, the nineteenth-century skirt support that accented a woman’s behind and allowed for elaborate skirt drapery, is more fluid than similar iterations have been. Westwood’s stark wire cage from 1990, for instance, was not so

Vivienne Westwood, “Anglomania,” Fall/Winter 1993–1994

Hayley-Jane Edwards-Dujardin

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

From being queen of punk in the mid-1970s, Vivienne Westwood slightly moved, from the 1980s, to being a supporter of British fashion’s establishment. Inspired by traditional craftsmanship and eighteenth-century art, the designer has since infused her collections with historicism. With her fall/winter 1993–1994 “Anglomania” show, Vivienne Westwood epitomized her interest in English and Scottish traditions while mingling masculine tailoring with outrageously feminine forms. Featuring laced bodices,

Vivienne Westwood’s Elevated Ghillie Shoes from 1993

Hayley-Jane Edwards-Dujardin

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

For her fall/winter 1993–1994 “Anglomania” collection, Vivienne Westwood perched her models on extremely elevated platform shoes. Inspired, as most of her collection, by Scottish traditional garments, the platform shoes reinterpreted ancestral ghillies worn for folkloric dances. However, apart from the lacing structure, the shoes were more reminiscent of fetish footwear—an aesthetic typical of Vivienne Westwood’s taste for combining conservatism with subversiveness. When the British designer rein

Underwear from the 1970s to 2000

Hayley-Jane Edwards-Dujardin

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

From the twentieth century, underwear has acquired a functional and an aesthetic purpose, sometimes serving as a second skin for comfort and at other times as an exoskeleton, reshaping the body’s natural form. It conceals or audaciously reveals women’s intimacy and thus nourishes erotic fantasies in a flirtatious game of “nice meets naughty.” Underwear originally had a function of protection, hygiene, and support; it embodied the existing social boundaries between the hidden intimacy and the publ

Red or Dead, Spring/Summer 1996

Jenny Evans

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Red or Dead’s “New York Dolls” collection caused outrage in the British tabloid press. The Mail on Sunday described the show as the “sick face of British fashion” after models brandished bloodied knives, knitting needles, and scissors. The clothing was almost overshadowed by the show’s melodramatic kitsch depiction of a dystopian future inhabited by “disturbed housewives.” While the emergence of “Cool Britannia” was attracting positive global attention, Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway, Red or Dead’

Red or Dead, Spring/Summer 1995

Amelia Francis

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The Red or Dead spring/summer 1995 ready-to-wear collection presents fashion pieces with a distinct moral statement: designer Wayne Hemmingway’s disgust at the practice of Western tourists exploiting the Far Eastern sex trade. This issue was particularly pertinent in the cultural context of the time. While this instance of a designer using his work to highlight cultural, ethical, and political dilemmas is by no means the first or last of its kind, the nature of the issue at hand, and the way it w

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