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Orientalism in Fashion

Osman Ahmed

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This essay explores the relationship with fashion and Orientalism as a modern study of Western culture, as well as an ancient dialogue between East and West that has laid the foundations for the modern fashion system. Designers discussed include Paul Poiret, Yves Saint Laurent, and John Galliano, who each represent various waves of Orientalism and the changing ways in which its appearance in fashion collections contributed to the course of fashion and design history.

Léon Bakst

Waleria Dorogova

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Léon Bakst (1866–1924), while not a style icon in the conventional sense, is well known to have profoundly influenced fashion throughout the twentieth century. Vanity Fair declared as early as 1914 that Bakst “has done more to revolutionize costume than any man since Adam.” His vibrant designs for the costumes and settings of the Ballets Russes in the period between 1909 and 1922 have enduringly inspired fashion designers to a substantially higher degree than his less well-known work in couture o

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,

Article

The omnipresent significance of the eighteenth century and the masked ball for the House of Dior found expression in the design of “Angie” for the “Masquerade and Bondage” collection, a short variation on 1760s court dress, paraphrasing the fashionable life and cruel fate of Marie Antoinette. Using the surface of the hip panels as a canvas for narrative and caricaturized embroideries, the dress becomes an epitome of storytelling through dressmaking, evoking crucial episodes of French history. Gal

Couture Shows of the 2000s

Stephanie Edith Herold

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Haute couture’s economic feasibility remained questionable throughout the 2000s, though ateliers were supported by increased patronage from Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Russian clients. Hundreds of petites mains shut down their businesses, while a minority were purchased by houses. Several labels conceded their haute couture memberships; however, the Chambre Syndicale also inducted a handful of new houses and welcomed Armani Privé as a “corresponding member.” Prospective couturiers could m

Antonio Berardi

Shonagh Marshall

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear, Spring/Summer 2000

Hayley-Jane Mazières

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

When John Galliano was appointed by Bernard Arnault as the creative director at the French fashion house of Givenchy in 1995, he became the first British designer to lead an established Parisian brand. In fall 1996, he set the bar higher when he became responsible for Christian Dior’s haute couture, accessories, and ready-to-wear lines. Instantly remarked on with his graduate collection, “Les Incroyables,” presented in 1984 at London’s college of Central Saint Martins, John Galliano had been favo

John Galliano, Spring/Summer 1994

Julia Petrov

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

From his graduation collection in 1984, John Galliano was known for staging historical narratives as part of his runway shows. His spring/summer 1994 collection was no exception. Dedicated to an imagined story of a princess named Lucretia and her escape from Russia, the show featured the princess’s theatrical transformation from a crinoline-wearing prisoner of tradition to a self-confident modern woman in figure-hugging outfits. The media attention and accolades following secured Galliano the men

John Galliano

Aimee Scott

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Historical Influences on Contemporary Fashion Design

Lorynn Divita

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fashion designers regularly draw inspiration from historical influences, which they appropriate and reinterpret for the modern consumer, often while making a deeper commentary about the current era by referencing the ideals of the past. Theoretical concepts such as Nystrom’s Zeitgeist and Laver’s Law, which demonstrate society’s “gap in appreciation” of fashion styles, enable fashion observers to more accurately interpret the statement a designer is making through retro fashions. Two collections

England

Naomi E.A. Tarrant

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In 1800, the people of England dressed in the general West European clothing style that was worn by all fashionable people. Wealth determined what a person could afford to wear but not the style. There was no folk dress, so the general impression was that wealthy people wore the same styles as their workers, with only the quality showing the difference. The poor acquired garments from secondhand clothes dealers or as gifts from wealthier family members or friends, charities, and employers, as wel

Galliano, John*

Marketa Uhlirova

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Galliano, christened Juan Carlos Antonio, was born in Gibraltar in 1960. He moved to Streatham, South London, with his Gibraltan father and Spanish mother at the age of six. Galliano had a brief period of work experience with Tommy Nutter, the Savile Row tailor, during his studies at St. Martins School of Art in London (since renamed Central St. Martin’s), as well as a part-time position as a dresser at the National Theatre. He graduated from St. Martins with first class honors in fashion design

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