Christian Dior Resort 2011 Collection
On his third visit to China since 2002, designer John Galliano made it clear that this was not to be a dose of chinoiserie à la Dior. “I didn’t really want to do ‘China’ at all. Not only because I have done that, but because I didn’t think it was appropriate,” the designer said. “I just thought it would be really fierce, really cool, to present le savoir faire français.” And that he did, with a savvy blend of ready-to-wear and couture. “I was just trying to recapture that excitement that was happening at that time in Paris, which is very similar to what is happening in Shanghai today,” he said.”
It’s funny. We wouldn’t have guessed “French New Wave” on our own. Oh sure, you can see it, and once it’s pointed out to you it’s pretty obvious, what with the head scarves and stripes and other trappings of the style/period. But for us, there was only one inspiration we could see when we first looked at this collection and no matter how much Galliano goes on about Shanghai and French film movements, we still can’t un-see what we first saw: Barbie clothes. And we don’t just mean because there’s so much pink and purple. There’s such an agressively retro girly vibe to these looks. And when we say “girly” we mean that literally. Some of these dresses look like something an 8-year-old would wear to a birthday party (and those last two dresses look like the cake at an 8-year-old’s birthday party). Interestingly, these looks are offset by some harder, more masculine looks, all of which make the runway look like an old-school lesbian ball from 60 years ago. Butches and femmes fighting it out on the catwalk.
And we can all bitch about ruffles until we’re blue in the face, but they’re clearly not going away any time soon. Instead of the huge ruffles situated diagonally across the body, like we’ve been seeing ad nauseam, we’re seeing more horizontal layered ruffles, petticoat style. It’s not for us to say whether that’s an improvement (because we’ll never wear them), but it is at least a different direction.
This is a decidedly mixed review, but then again, this is a decidedly mixed collection. There’s a lot to like here and then there’s a lot (those last 2 dresses, my god) that just look silly to us.
[Photo Credit: gettyimages.com]