Monday, 24 November 2008

Spot the Difference

We were just looking through hundreds of old runway pics for an upcoming post we're considering doing, when this ss2001 collection reared its ugly head. Based on current 'looks', to which designer would you attribute this shameful, mismatched visual-assault?

Unless you were following fashion at the time, it might surprise you to know that this is Christian Dior by John Galliano circa 2001 - the same Dior by John Galliano which, although still fairly tacky, has recently been responsible for impeccable French tailoring, with a heavy dash of 50s-60s Haute Couture glamour:

It's amazing what a difference just 7 years has made, and in a way that's the point we were going to base another post on (we probably still will, with better ugly pictures for you to squirm over): it's quite extraordinary how quickly brands and collections are reinvented these days, to the extent that even collections from just four or five years ago by high fashion, cutting edge brands, like Prada and YSL, are now an embarrassment to behold because they look so hideous to the contemporary eye. Of course fashion is all about reinvention, but it's mind boggling how fast the evolution is occurring. How long do you think it will take before Galliano's most recent efforts for Dior look as unspeakably awful as the 2001 outfits do now?

Can you imagine journalists from all the big magazines actually sitting down in 2001 and writing good stuff about that collection? By current standards you actually marvel at the audacity of Galliano to present such a collection to a room full of fashion press and buyers, except of course it's all relative and it wasn't so dreadfully wrong at the time. The pace at which fashion's moving is such that we hardly notice we've all moved on (though that may all change as the economic climate darkens and we can ill afford the fast changeover culture of fashion consumption) until we see a photo of ourselves or a magazine from just a few years ago, which seems in our minds quite recent, but suddenly looks hideously dated, and there's almost now a 'dead' area of fashion history: periods of history up to and including the 80s are heavily referenced in fashion today but, with a few exceptions, we don't look back much to the time after that.

We think this definitely merits further investigation because it's all very confusing (a Chanel suit from the 50s can still be the height of chic, a shoulder-padded suit from the 80s can be fashionable in an ironic way, yet a Prada suit from just 2005 is wrong, wrong, wrong).


  1. I remember very well that Dior kinda hip hop collection. I loved it and recall it received rave reviews. taken apart there were a lot of beautiful pieces especially the tulle embroided skirts.
    Of course comparinf Then and Now the change is rather radical. I noticed a change in Galliano ever since his artistic partner Steven Robinson(RIP)passed a way. John seems to have calmed doan and gone...establishment!

  2. I can appreciate the design elements of the 2001 collection too, but would you agree that it now looks really ugly in terms of wearability, because of how fast what we perceive to be good and wearable has changed over the last 7 years?

  3. Hi Hapsical! I wouldn't consider the collection ugly today but perhaps out of place. Especially a total look. Certain elements might fit in today's wardrobe but on the whole its true we really have come a long way in 7 years. Personally I never throw anything away now because fads keep coming back as designers creativity reach saturation point. There's really nothing new under the sun. Fashion now seems an eternal Merry go Round.Cheers!