Back in 2007, John Galliano still ruled the runways at Christian Dior, and was hailed as one of the best designers of the Century. The last statement is still, and will always be true.
2007 Also marked the 60th anniversary of Dior and to celebrate, Galliano took the audience through a panoply of dresses inspired by artists, illustrators and photographers for the Houses 2007 Fall Haute Couture Show.
Taking inspiration from Artists such as Vemeer and Illustrators like Rene Garau, Galliano presented a Runway fit for any Princess, fitting, as the show was staged in the Orangerie at the Palace of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris.
The three garments I chose were all dresses. They stood out to me for their variation in shape, colour and design, plus I imagined all would be very interesting to draw.
The first is a ball-gown, seemingly more suited to a European Countess. The fitted bodice and skirt features a mermaid tail, dip dyed from Royal to Midnight blue, a Trompe l’oeil Sash with exaggerated shoulder. Fully embroidered and decorated with medals and badges.
The bodice is very intricate, and the mixture of the Gold and Silver makes this dress really stand out to me. I used my quick technique to roughtly give the impression of heavily embroidered bodice.
To create the volume in the skirt, without it looking to heavy, I used the technique I have been using a lot lately, of adding more water to the watercolour to allow me to take some of the intensity away from the illustration.
I chose the 2nd dress because of its shape. The built in corset allows the sleeves to create an amazing arch under the armpit, which balloons into a leg-of-mutton sleeve, which is fully embroidered. A degrade peplum fades from dark brown into a mustard yellow long column skirt.
I really like the shape that is created here. Although the model has both hands on her hips, I decided to draw just one to really make one side of the illustration stand stronger. Many layers of tippex, gold pen and fine-liner make up the intense embroideries which grow from the mid chest across the shoulders and around the blouson arms.
To get the perfect degrade effect, I use plain water on my pencil illustration first. This aloud the different colours to merge neatly when applied to the paper afterwards, instead of jumbling in a mess of water on the page.
The Third look some of you may recognise. It is actually one of the dresses Sarah Jessica Parker wears when she has her “photoshoot” as Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’.
I Love this outfit. It is classic Dior with a Galliano twist. The exaggerated hip and multi-layered tulle skirt is reminiscent of the 1947 ‘Bar Suit’, which made Christian Dior Famous, however the large sleeves are a very Galliano-esq shape. It really shows how he look the houses archives and reworked them in his own way every season.
Although the dress is so large, I did not want it to overwhelm my illustration figure, I wanted you to still be able to tell it was a woman, not a marshmallow so I too a long time deciding where each pleat and ruffle should go.
This is a very close-up shot of the illustration. I used pencil to create a depth within the fold of the material, to make it look more realistic. The bodice was boned and accented with teardrop pearls and a large square silver brooch sat in the mist of all the satin.
Unfortunately some of the looks in this collection are a little dated, however I would really like to explore some more of the ones I love.
Although there has been a lot of controversy aroung John Galliano, he is still an amazing designer, and his work at Dior was phenominal. I do hope we see more of him soon.
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