All The Rage

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Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano's leading ladies

October 4, 2010 | 10:52 am

Jg1 For his namesake collection at Paris Fashion Week, John Galliano's muse was haute huckster Maria Lani and his stage the gorgeous Opéra Comique.

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?

Jg5 After the show, when I saw one of the models on the street outside, I asked her. She said, in what sounded like a Russian accent, "You just get spray and spray it." Easy as that, huh?

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

John Galliano spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Photos: Looks from the John Galliano spring-summer 2011 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times