Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano collection shown without its designer
There was a big crowd at the John Galliano presentation Sunday, held at a private mansion on Paris' chichi Avenue Foch, because there was a lot of curiosity, morbid and otherwise. The designer's career went down in flames last week. He was dismissed from Dior after being arrested on suspicion of making anti-Semitic remarks to patrons at a Paris bar -- remarks in a separate incident were caught on video.
Everyone wanted to see the clothes, which were reportedly left for the atelier to finish after the fiasco involving Galliano, who then headed to rehab.
The presentation was a lot more low-key and, frankly, more dignified, than Galliano's usual shows, which are often held at 9 p.m. or later in raw studio spaces on the outskirts of Paris. There was no dry ice or fake snow -- which he favors. There were no gimmicks at all, save for the trays of mini madeleines that waiters were passing around.
During the mini-shows, held every 20 minutes or so, models walked slowly through the gilded rooms, striking poses for guests, who included press and buyers. There was a significantly smaller number of looks than per usual, only about two dozen.
The format allowed for a close-up look at the clothes, which were very pretty, included a stunning sheer black Deco beaded gown, with feather trim, and a pale green kimono coat with fur cuffs.
The daywear seemed to be more sedate than usual -- pencil skirts; colorful print blouses with open backs; and soft coats, one in a ribbed cream wool with a fur collar, all with Galliano's signature 1930s-'40s flair. But there was at least one nod to his more subversive side -- a black rubber trench coat
With Dior as the majority shareholder in the John Galliano business, which has never performed well, the future of the label is uncertain. Especially this season, when stores may shy away from having the Galliano name on the racks.
The biggest shocker of all was that Dior exec Sidney Toledano was actually at the presentation -- to support the staff, he said.
The saga continues.
-- Booth Moore in Paris
Photos: Looks from the John Galliano fall and winter 2011 women's collection presented during Paris Fashion Week: Credit: Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images