Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano's leading ladies
Lani is an amusing character from the 1920s Paris art scene, who persuaded every great artist -- 50 in all, including Henri Matisse and Jean Cocteau -- to paint her, under the pretext that their work would appear in a film.
Of course, she really wasn't an actress, and there was no film. She sold the paintings, fled to the U.S. and disappeared.
It's just the kind of story Galliano loves, and each piece in his knockout collection channeled this mysterious seductress, with full trousers veiled in black tulle, as well as a shadowy sheer organza trench exposing lacy underthings.
There was also a painterly quality to much of what was on the runway, such as a fuchsia lace cardigan with butterfly appliques, and a black raincoat with an asymmetrical, ruffled hem and bright pink flowers across the front.
For evening, bias-cut gowns were covered in metallic embroidery, feathers or looped fringe. Some models had glittery, metallic-painted coifs, which I'm dying to try to duplicate for Halloween. But how?
Anyway, the show was a sumptuous visual feast from start to finish, when a shower of gold glitter rained down on Galliano taking his bow.
His unending flair for the theatrical often makes me wonder why he's not more of a player in Hollywood, either in the red-carpet dressing game or in the movie business itself.
With his help, maybe this Maria Lani story could make it to the big screen after all.
-- Booth Moore in Paris
Photos: Looks from the John Galliano spring-summer 2011 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times