John Galliano’s Marie Antoinette Inspired Collection for Spring 2010

Marie Antoinette
As promised, I am thrilled to bring you a very special guest post today from talented artist and style savant Ingrid Mida. Ingrid's repertoire, which includes beautiful, fashion-inspired artwork and photography (be sure to visit her online gallery), is regularly exhibited in Toronto, and she brings a wonderful historical sensibility to each creation. She is particularly inspired by Marie Antoinette, thus making her our ideal guide for this Dior collection. Enjoy!

"Marie Antoinette and the pre-revolutionary court of Versailles seem to be an ongoing source of inspiration for fashion designers, including the spring 2010 collection of John Galliano for Dior. Although the links to Marie Antoinette are more subtle than his “Masquerade and Bondage” collection of 2000, they are there nonetheless. The influence of Marie Antoinette on the Dior collection for winter is in evidence in the riding costumes, luxe hats atop frothy, pouffed hair styles and exaggerated hip lines.

The pouf hairstyle was a signature hairstyle for Marie Antoinette and much copied after she debuted it in 1774. Galliano brings the elevated hairstyle back in this collection to great effect!

During Marie Antoinette’s reign, extravagant hats often topped these towering pouf hairstyles. Similarly, Galliano adds frothy and luxe toppers to complete many of his over-the-top fabulous confections.

Perhaps most obvious is the influence of the riding costume on the Dior collection, especially as Galliano ended the show by appearing dressed in riding attire. 

The male-style fraque a bavaroise was popular for women in 1779 and had lasting impact on women’s fashionable attire. Galliano's interpretation of riding costume in the Dior winter collection is the height of elegance and chic!

Exaggerated hip lines somewhat reminiscent of panniers can be seen in several of the beautiful long evening gowns.
Marie Antoinette was the first fashion icon. She serves as a muse to many designers like Galliano and artists like myself. Please visit me at Fashion is my Muse to read more posts about her and visit my website to see artwork inspired by this period."

- Ingrid Mida

Images: Marie Antoinette and the Dior Collection.


Ingrid Mida said...

It truly was both an honour and a delight to write this post for you Skyla. Thank you!

Saz said...

wonderful Ingrid...I have often wondered what the creations would be like if Galliano and Westwood got together it would be FAB....

saz x

Lucy said...

Fabulous post (and what a gorgeous blog)! Ingrid, it definitely looks like Galliano has a thing for Marie Antoinette; most definitely his creations seem to be inspired by her. Love it!

lindaraxa said...

Galliano is truly an artist but im afraid only a few can wear his designs. In a pinch, though, I would go for the gray gown!

Averill said...

What I love about Galliano is that he's such a showman. He knows what kind of clothing, hair, etc. will make for a great runway show and he really delivers. Sure it's often over-the-top, but I love the fantasy and since the prices of couture make it a fantasy for most people anyway, I say the more fantastical, the more imaginative, the better.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Wearable-only for just a few- all these gorgeous gowns sell Dior rtw. Galiano would have adored Marie-at least her wardrobe. He is truly artist and perhaps his own muse-for he always appears in the role. Marie Antoinette certainly would have revived haute couture single handedly.

Anonymous said...

Until recently, I never liked Galliano’s designs. I found them vulgar, amateurish, unwearable, and ridiculous, more like costumes suitable for circus clowns. But never say never. I’ve done a 360. I found his recent collections sublime, especially the Japanese and origami inspired themes. As the French say, ravissant!

While I find his presentation of self ostentatious and pretentious, he is certainly interesting and anything but dull. But hey, if he has the nerve, and well, the 18th century was also the age of the male dandy, perhaps it is somewhat appropriate for this specific collection. But I have a problem with the Dior show in which he wore an astronaut suit! It isn’t Halloween, Monsieur Galliano. But at least I remembered it, so in that sense he is a promotional genius.

The habit rouge is a recurring theme and a classic in fashion, like the pea coat, trench coat, and duffle coat. It has been interpreted by everyone from Ralph Lauren to Valentino. Unquestionably, it is a wonderful look and there are times when a particular designer’s proportions, fabrics, and notions freshen it and make us see it again in a new light. However, there are times when the original, for example an authentic, British tailored red twill hunting jacket, looks better. Yves Saint Laurent had some of his greatest successes with trench coats, but genius that he was, we didn’t need him to show us it looks fantastic on. A classic is a classic is a classic.

I realize that the chosen photos are meant to be a sample or taste of the collection, and the most elaborate creations are the ones that are most photographed and certainly the most memorable. I am wondering if there were more wearable, somewhat less dressy clothes for day in this collection. You know, the type of thing that could be worn to an elegant lunch, tea with the queen, an auction at Sotheby's, or a religious service.

These Galliano/ Dior confections are wonderful, and quite wearable, albeit under very elegant circumstances, and in company of those who can appreciate and understand this rarefied product. Credit must also be given to the technicians, tailors, seamstresses, and suppliers at Dior. Unquestionably, they could make any half decent designer’s sketches come to life in the most positive way. Previous Dior designer Ferré who was at the helm from 1989-1996 said that being able to work at Dior was like being given a Stradivarius to play on.

This presentation, with the grande luxe displays of voluptuous flowers is incredibly beautiful. This particular aspect is faithful to the heritage of Dior, for he himself loved gardens and flowers, and such displays were evident in the original Christian Dior couture shows of the 1950s. Yves Saint-Laurent, a great admirer of Christian Dior, also frequently used such spectacular and extravagant effects with flowers, often having the models emerge from openings in walls or backdrops covered with fresh flowers. Such creations and settings are unquestionably masterpieces of the florist's art. The backdrops of draped fabrics are luxurious but excessive. They compete with the wonderful floral displays, and the material would look better if they didn’t puddle on the floor. Also, the effect is confusing when an equally draped evening gown is presented. The whole Dior défilé is really wonderful, but would benefit from being slightly toned down.

Ms. Mida is the ideal person to discuss this interesting and dreamy collection. With her historic knowledge and love of the 18th century, the textiles, sewing techniques, and history, she is better qualified to write about it than any fashion writer I know. Wonderful work Ingrid!

Now, if we could just get John Galliano to remove his hat indoors. Monsieur Dior would never approve of that!

Square with Flair™

lucy@fourwallsandaroof said...

Goodness, now all I need is an occasion to wear one of these! Some truly stunning creations though. Great post.

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

You can always count on Galliano for glam, elaborate and creative. I really love the last look of the collection (the second photo)!

ceecee said...

Terrific post by the lovely Ingrid. I just watched a video of this collection the other day and almost fell out of the chair. Gorgeous.

It's nice to meet you. I'm off to discover more treasures on your blog.


Tristan Robin said...

Wonderful observations by the always spot-on-target Ms. Mida!

Sanity Fair said...

Thank you Ingrid! It was an honor. And thanks everyone who stopped by!

Unknown said...

This was just lovely! I adore Marie A style and of course the Dior collection is fab!


Tegan said...

Looove the pictures and commentary!

Sarah Klassen said...

Admittedly, I have fallen for this collection. I am a huge fan of Marie Antoinette, and the design and style of that time. What a tribute!

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