John Galliano’s Split Personality

If you want drama, turn off the trashy reality shows and check out what’s inside John Galliano’s head.

Galliano had two very buzzed about shows recently. His Fall 2010 Menswear line was half dapper Sherlock Holmes and half sexed-up Bruce Lee. His Dior Spring 2010 Haute Couture collection was part equestrian dominatrix and part societal English rose.

Galliano showed heavy tweed capes, immaculate double-breasted pinstripe suits, plaid-lined wool coats, bowler hats, and creepy mustaches for the first half of the show. They had pipes, deerstalker hats, silver pocket watches and carried wooden umbrellas, just in case it rained on the way back to Baker Street. All ensembles for very proper, 19th century gentlemen—then came the fun.

The second half of the Galliano show was reminiscent of Mortal Kombat, just with less clothing and gold body paint. The models wore silky fighting robes with dragons silk-screened over the shoulders, satin black boxing shorts, printed orange smoking jackets, royal purple and gold boxer briefs with Galliano’s name imprinted in gothic lettering on the waistband, with a combination of long rope braids and chunky, anime spikes.

Firstly Galliano focused on fitted, heavy fabrics in a dark palette; it is no-nonsense, functional, formal wear. Then there was fierce shift to street fighters bursting with bold purples, cerulean blues on black, and shimmering gold in their body-skimming, Asian-inspired loungewear.

John Galliano’s Haute Couture Spring 2010 runway show for Christian Dior was quite another cinematic adventure. The models haughtily sashayed down the runway, exaggerating their already protruding hips in long hourglass skirts, structured sheen bubblegum pink blazers, orange leather opera gloves, pastel cocktail dresses, and jewel-encrusted gowns, with Bride of Frankenstein bouffants, and sky-high eyebrows.

Karlie Kloss emerged first in a veiled, silk top hat, ringleader-like blood-red coat, black leather gloves, leather boots, matte cherry lips, and a leather whip. While some were horse-riding femme fatales, others were doll-faced in lacy cocktail dresses with white leather booties like Siri Tollerød and Chanel Iman. And of course, Galliano showed his fair share of couture gowns. Most of the gowns were gag-worthy, (there was just a copious amount of sweetheart necklines and gargantuan bows,) but Galliano’s eye for color compensates. He used a great, deep jewel tones in an array of shades from rich raspberries, sapphire blues, and glistening amethysts, to midnight blacks in the evening portion of the show.

Glorified men’s pajamas? Women’s high-society ball gowns? They’re all the same for Galliano. But who really cares? In the mean time, just enjoy the show—and try not to get popcorn butter on the couture.

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