Alex, i don't know if you already answer this question but what christian dior (under galliano) collection is your fave?
I love the Bagatelle show (winter 1997) and the Opera Garnier show (spring 1998). The first couture was incredible. The Homeless and Matrix collections felt like they shifted Galliano, and maybe fashion as a whole. Certainly haute couture. I loved the Lauryn Hill collection that reintroduced the logo jacquard and the saddle bag. The spring 2001 collection that he showed, then re-showed as Galliano - playing “Oops I Did It Again” as a comment on the speed of fashion shows.
Just wondering, but do you know who does the embroidery for dior rtw? I asked someone at the Dior store in NYC and she was rude about it and wouldn't tell me. I know they bought Vermont, but I'm not sure who they use for rtw.
I’m not entirely certain - although a few use the couture ateliers to embroider (by machine rather than hand). It could also be embroidered in India.
And what advice would you give to young people aspiring to be a designer? How can they start? I love how much you know about fashion! x
Learn to draw by copying. Then develop your own style from the copy. Learn how clothes are made. The construction will suggest ways to subvert, alter and change. It will also suggest design solutions in itself. Read about the history but let it inspire you rather than consume you. Be nice to people on the way up. Use the best fabrics you can afford. Don’t try and fool people.
Decide what you want to say, and be as true as you can to your vision.
I was reading your answers from yesterday about Vionnet. They should have one designer doing womenswear entirely. RTW and their Couture line do not stick together. And Ashkenazi is no designer, what she is doing for the bottom line is entirely wrong. The house has gone through so much change since it's resurrection it really needs to be stabilized and let whoever's in charge do their thing for at least four seasons.
It’s just a bit of a mess. And, again, it’s a name that means something. It’s a shame.
Why do you think there's so few black high fashion designers? I literally struggle to name just one, and I can't even think of a single black couturier. The only person I can think of is the one guy who did the Givenchy menswear before Riccardo...
There are a few: Olivier Rousteing, Stephen Burrows, Patrick Robinson, Patrick Kelly (RIP), Duro Olowu, Agi (of Agi and Sam), Shayne Oliver, Casley-Hayford, Bruce Oldfield, Martine Rose, Ozwald Boateng. But it’s not exactly an overwhelming list. I’m not sure why that’s the case, honestly.
Thoughts on work Chanel has recently put out in general? The house has recently been receiving a lot of criticism over redundancy. Do you agree with the recent criticism, and do you think the house's body of work is appealing to what the new generation is looking for in fashion?
Hi Alex, what is your opinion on Nicola Formichetti's Diesel, as well as his short term at Mugler? It seems to me that he has a wondrous mind full of fantastical ideas. Furthermore, what do you think about The Kooples?
I think Diesel is a good match for Nicola because the size of the company can (just about) keep up with his rate of ideas. He’s an inspired and inspiring person who seems to really enjoy what he does. Which is great.
I don’t really know much about The Kooples, if I’m honest.
Whose design career has impacted you the greatest throughout your life? And why?
God, why? I remember seeing a picture from his winter 1995 show - with the snow, incidentally Carla Bruni was modelling the dress - and not even comprehending what it was. Because she was walking on snow, was spotlit, and the dress was just… something else. It was like no fashion representation I had ever seen before.
Then, when you started to look - through magazines, and books, and maybe television because it was before the Internet - and see everything else Galliano had created, was creating, these amazing worlds filled with these women, these incredible, amazing stories. These fully-realised fantasies made flesh. It was the most exciting thing I had ever seen.
Then came McQueen. There had been Westwood and Gaultier too. But Galliano is the emotional, guttural connection. It’s the thing I didn’t even know I was looking for. It was profoundly moving. Remember, that was before support networks like Tumblr, where you actually realise there are other people who love this kind of stuff and are inspired by the same things you loved. But I felt this connection to what he was doing, this ideal of beauty. There was something fundamental there, something shared.
It’s the reason I do this. And people ask me if I think John will come back, and I say I hope he will. Because I have to hope. Because he’s the reason I love it, and the reason I ever loved it. He’s the reason I do what I do. And it just isn’t the same without him.
What do you think the most important quality for a young designer coming out of London is right now? Other than originality of course
Probably the ability to shout at factories and make them produce your clothes.
You should be willing to talk to press and buyers, and really believe in what you’re doing. Pay attention to advice, which is usually given in good spirits. Trust the right people. Stay true to what you want to achieve.
Hello Alex, I'm enjoying your curation as well as your willingness to express your opinions and answer questions - that's awesome. Do you believe that showrooms should make an effort to curate their designer clients as opposed to the traditional use of clothing rails? Whatever your answer is do you believe curation should be key to displaying fashion to today's consumers, Dover Street Market, latest Dior Homme project with M/M for SoHo store etc? Thanks!
This is an interesting idea. I’m personally a fan of being about to rifle through a rack, but if there’s an interesting extension of the designer’s identity, I don’t mind a bit of conceptual shopping.
But ultimately, the clothes should do the talking. I got to Dover Street, for instance, for the clothes, not the shelves.
Do you think artists like Gaga have an influence on the fashion world. Now H&M is coming out with a Koons collaboration in the fall. A lot of people may have not necessarily been aware of who Koons was. Gaga brought him on to work with her in the release of her new album ARTPOP.
I think Lady Gaga has an enormous audience, and hence can broadcast fashion where it wasn’t before. I think that’s what happened with Koons: H&M know that a much larger, non-art specific audience have been exposed to his work through her, an audience that are very fashion-literate. And they and Koons are capitalising on it. It’s savvy.