When I look at fashion I don't generally go digging for a back story, I avoid programs that discuss a designer's "inspiration" and I try my best not to read into or make sweeping pronouncements as to the psychological or emotional state of the creator. If the thing looks dark, it looks dark. When it's bright, well then it's bright. What I'm after is whether or not the work succeeds on any or all levels; is it beautifully made even if the thing is studiedly un-made? Does it elicit an emotion response either positive or otherwise? Is there a soul somewhere inside it or is it lacking a soul or spirit? Does it succeed on its own or does it need some sort of crutch? Does it make the grade, or is it consistent with the expectations of its place in the larger spectrum of where its supposed to be? In other words, is it "shit or Shinola"? Granted, its a murky thing that experts in the fashion field are often at pains to define. Objectivity is all but lost in the bargain but still fairness should always have a seat near the front. All of this patter is leading to my comments on Dior and Bill Gayttens efforts.
Looking at the collection, it's almost impossible to view it without imposing the Galliano standard on it. Dior and Galliano are inseparable which makes anyone else's attempts at creating a Dior collection a lost cause. But if you put that thought in your Birkin and take off your Tom Ford sunnies and look closely, and past the Memphis colors/combos of some exits, take the clunky jewelry and silly "fascinators" off some unfortunate heads you end up with more than just a couple of marvelous couture creations. I admit that the rigorous fit, unerring choice of colors and some proportions that Galliano achieved while flattened in a K hole was missing, still there was music playing on that runway. To say that it was an abysmal failure or an unfortunate parade of misguided ideas with no rudder or Admiral is a little off the mark. It's also interesting that other work that was presented on the runway this week, after Dior, was strangely similar and managed to escape the hatchet. That's all I'll say. These images I've included are just a handful of things that spoke to me. Look for yourself and see.
THE ACL GIFT GUIDE 2023
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