The love for fashion is something we all have in common. We aim to take you down the pathway of three inspirational designers we admire and the notable events that took place in their lives.
From the theatrics of Galliano, the sheer sophistication of Proenza Schouler’s design technique and Marc Jacobs with his innate propensity for curating grunge inspired looks.
But before you go on read, listen to our curated runway playlist according to these three time periods.
John Galliano for Christian Dior
From Rags To Riches
Eccentric, audacious and intricate. Three words that resonate with the legendary designer known for crossing boundaries within the fashion industry.
In order to comprehend his significance as an individual, we shall take you on a journey of events in Galliano’s life.
Destination one, his early years. Exposed to the whimsical nature of things from a very young age. Galliano’s mother, a flamenco teacher, was adamant on dressing her son in a manner that differed from the crowd (1). Decked in inordinate garments even when he had to run menial errands. Invariably judged and made fun of by his classmates for his eccentric style, little did they know that his distinctive demeanor would go on to lead a revolution in the fashion industry.
Destination two, the commencement of his professional life. Graduating from Central Saint Martins, London, with his iconic “Les Incroyable” collection. The garments he constructed during the 1980s, predominantly revolved around the inspiration he drew from the French Revolution.
Destination three, the power of connections. He stumbled upon Chief Editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour. Yes, the icon that basically rules the realm of fashion with her pageboy haircut and massive black sunglasses. By gaining such influential connections he made an entrance into the major fashion house Dior.
Destination four, his proclivity for cinema. The orchestration of his infamous collection named “Blanche Dubois”. Taking inspiration from his favorite movies of the 90s. Emotional and theatrical movies like ‘Princess Lucretia’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. Definitely some recommendations for movie night! Who knows you might just end up creating a new collection?
Shh, keep this one a secret.
The vision of each collection was directed towards creating a 'fairy tale fantasy', elaborating the contrasting narrative of Galliano’s collections.
But.. How exactly did Galliano appear to have a never-ending list of ideas for his collections? Just like any designer can relate with, the research behind each collection became intensive. Some would say 'exotic'. Traveling on hot-air balloons across the Nile River and touring China specifically to gain insight from Buddhist monks. The deconstruction of different ideas, only to piece them all together again, creating a refreshing array of designs.
It’s safe to say, you wouldn’t be surprised if you found out that Galliano visited King Tuntankhamun’s tomb for his Egyptian inspired collection, would you?
Models strutted the runway in what was referred to as “wearable art”. Art such as massive head pieces that complimented the extravagant decor of his runway sets. The runway settings in which his collections were displayed, were said to be just as exotic and extensive as his level of research (2).
Christian Dior Spring 1998 Haute Couture
About The Collection
A couture collection or a scene from a 20th century ball? As some individuals might still question. Creating history within France’s very own The Palais Garnier. A collection so mercurial yet delicate. Models strutted down the sacred steps of the opera house, each look emanating a visual melody so mesmerizing, we just had to remind you of it!
Inspiration was drawn from the beauty of art and talent, resulting in the fusion of opera and ballet garments. Lace sheaths scattered neatly across the steps as the models stopped to receive looks of admiration. Matching skirt suits, either in hues like coal-black or pearly-white. Accompanied with massive straw hats, an accessory that was complimented with pink and purple hand sewn flowers. Resonating with the set of looks that would invariably serve well at lavish garden parties.
A section of the collection featured dresses intricately ornamented in exotic floral prints. A view so beguiling, it almost mimicked the serenity that can often be experienced during morning nature walks.
A collection that highlights the beauty of Dior’s vision for the “New Look”. Whilst subtly appending an essence from the 1920s flapper era. Needless to say, how could dresses adorned in opulent gold baroque prints not be addressed. An amalgamation of rich gold hues complimented with dark tones.
A stream of continuous fabric butterflies fell from the ceiling to trademark the show’s end. A sight so surreal, we are still left in awe. An experience that is worth pondering on, up till this date.
Graduation Runway to the Racks of Barneys
Craftsmanship, detailing and what appears to be effortless refinement. Not just one of New York’s fashion labels, but 'the one'. Acknowledged for dominating the realm of American fashion with their nonpareil designs. Who are the masterminds behind this brilliant label? As you might wonder..
Step off Galiano’s tracks and explore those of Proenza Schouler’s. A short journey to success for the designers behind this label as their aptitude was brought under recognition in prompt time.
Destination one, one genius met another. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the brand’s founders, stumbled upon each other when studying in Parsons School of Design for a Fashion Design BFA degree. They both noticed the harmony that arose in their creations, when they worked together. This motivated them to collaborate for their senior thesis collection in 2002.
Destination two, the formation of the name as we know it today. McCollough and Hernandez saw the opportunity of using the rather appealing maiden names of their mothers. The combination of their names had an unavoidable catch to it, elucidating why they decided to lead their entire legacy with it.
Destination three, graduation day. Their amalgamated collection in which they approached the modernization of classic couture, came under instant recognition among reputable individuals worldwide. A collection bought in its entirety by Barneys New York, without hesitation. The birth of a multi-award winning fashion brand took place on that day. McCollough and Hernandez debuted the Proenza Schouler brand commercially in their first runway collection in 2003, which critics described as 'chic, sophisticated, and new' basic wardrobe staples transformed into luxury fashion.
Creating garments that comply with the norms of ‘contemporary art’ and ‘youth culture’ have become their trademark ever since.
Shh, another secret to add to your conscience.
We are sure you are curious regarding these fashion sensations who were able to sell their entire collection, and we mean, entire, to Barneys, even before receiving their graduation diploma.
How did they do all of this? McCollough and Hernandez are said to be one of the most relaxed designers that reporters have met. When we say relaxed, we do not mean they have not put in the work, we mean that they simply enjoy the work they do together, they do not even realize they are working sometimes. Their positive energy and attitude they bring to every single piece of garment they orchestrate, is why they have accomplished tremendous success.
Not to mention, their undeniable charming and witty characters prompts everyone to have the desire to work with them. The type of people you can just sit down and have a chat with.
McCollough and Hernandez stated that they do not typically care what other people think about them. They believe that they are doing what feels right to them and gives them this sense of fulfillment. The faith they have in their abilities, has, without a doubt, reflected beyond the scope of their workplace.
Proenza Schouler Fall 2003 Ready-to-Wear
About The Collection
The atmosphere of their first collection emanated sheer sophistication. Their approach towards contemporary chic was as refreshing as taking the first sip of warm coffee in the morning. Constructing a narrative of girls who “just got back from a party”. Revolving the entire collection around that story.
Complied with a darker color palette of unobtrusive color hues like black and charcoal, with insinuations of white. Appealing to the two types of elite consumers, those that like their coffee black and those that prefer to add some milk. Translated the perception of conventional daily wear into the affiliation with opulence.
An experimentation of silhouettes. From slouchy jackets to thigh-hugging leggings, the manner in which their garments were paired, displayed a well-planned orchestra. Almost as though the models came out of a movie scene, main characters are determined to fulfill their dark agenda. Utilitarian trench coats with raccoon fur lining at its collar region, embodying a Cruella de Vil aura. Ended the show with ornamented dresses adorned in sequin detailing. Fashion experts received a quivering sense of metallic grandeur.
Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis
A Collection, A Revolution
Eclectic, edgy and elegant. Marc Jacobs and his glorious facial features are predominantly recognized for his reign in Louis Vuitton as well as the launch of his own label. Inspiring upcoming designers as he continues to leave fashion experts in awe with his designs. It’s impossible to write this section of your journey without mentioning the release of the trendy ‘snapshot’ bag. I’m certain it was on your Christmas wish list in 2018? While his career can be perceived as one full of glitz and glamour, it is much more complicated than that.
Yet another journey begins.
Destination one, a childhood full of hardships. His journey in pursuing his passion for fashion started at Parsons School of Design. Prior to that, he led a rather arduous life after his father passed away. Jacobs was only at the tender age of seven when all of this took place (3). After such an occurrence, Jacobs decided to live with his grandmother. It was from there that he discovered his creative identity, as his grandmother had a proclivity for appealing aesthetics.
Destination two, a kickstart to his design career. After school he would work in a high-end boutique called ‘Charvari’. Designing sweaters for the boutique in between his shifts of folding clothes and dressing mannequins. This gave him a competitive advantage and made him stand out when he enrolled in Parsons. Orchestrating his very first collection for Reuben Thomas, straight after he graduated.
Destination three, his reign over womenswear. Launched a ‘grunge’ collection upon signing with Perry Ellis. A collection that proved his stance as the “guru of grunge”. He exited Perry Ellis soon after its launch, going forward with the launch of his own fashion house.
Destination four, his solo route to success. Perry Ellis or not, his agility in design is one that simply could not be overlooked. He started his own brand with support from his former boss Robert Duffy, which translated into a sublime success. Jacobs was then declared as Louis Vuitton’s creative director in the late nineties.
Okay.. seriously don’t tell anyone we told you this.
Marc is a man with connections. His collection was recognized by superstars like Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, bolstered up with his support from our fashion Queen, Anna Wintour.
He received the highest honors when he was studying in Parsons. The youngest designer to have acquired a CFDA award for New Fashion Talent, proving that you are limitless in terms of pursuing your passion, regardless of your age. We are certain that a project wandering around your mind’s eye has just sprung back into your conscious thoughts?
The collection was something that has never been witnessed before. Garments were tied in unidentifiable techniques, and silhouettes were paired like never before. That is mainly because Jacobs only has one enemy, mediocrity. “Okay” is simply just not enough, explaining why he is referred to as someone that has truly raised the standards within the fashion industry.
Perry Ellis Spring 1993 Ready-to-Wear
About The Collection
A collection curated from his perception of “grunge” and his sole mission of redefining what beauty was during the time. Almost resembling how ‘Nirvana” fans would dress themselves. If this collection were a ‘Nirvana’ song, it would definitely be “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
An invitation to a vintage vinyl shop is one way to describe the collection. Taking inspiration from his exploration of Seattle streets, witnessing those who skateboard without destination, the hopes of experiencing a new adventure along the way. Resonated with his incentive of creating a new destination in the fashion panorama. He elevated garments like granny dresses, lumberjack shirts and work boots into remarkable pieces that were hard to fathom, for those that drowned in common beauty standards.
An explosion of flannel and form fitting chiffon dresses. Body hugging dresses were paired with pastel beanies, whilst t-shirts were immaculately paired with combat boots. Every Pinterest girl’s go-to outfit. Psychedelic prints were featured on long-line jackets and spaghetti strap dresses, portraying the vintage persona of this collection. The cherry on top of this collection were the oval translucent glasses that the models wore.
Lively and audacious collections. The evident experimentation of structure and technique. Establishing new norms in the realm of fashion whilst winning and inspiring the hearts of many aspiring designers. Objectives that fall in great alignment in what we pursue as a brand.
Your journey down this magnificent historical timeline has now ended, it is now time for you to build your own legacy! We hope to be your support system along the way, writing a letter to you through each step you take.
Runway collection images of Christian Dior Spring 1998 Haute Couture, Proenza Schouler Fall 2003 RTW and Perry Ellis Spring 1993 RTW are retrieved from VOGUE.com
(1) Biography.com Editors. “John Galliano Biography.” The Biography.Com Website, A&E Television Networks, 12 Apr 2021, https://www.biography.com/fashion-designer/john-galliano
(2) Kloster, Caroline. “Christian Dior John Galliano - Why John Galliano’s Dior Can Never Exist Again.” CR Fashion Book, CR Fashion Book, 9 Nov. 2020, https://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a34500073/john-gallianos-dior-never-exist-again/
(3) Biography.com Editors. “Marc Jacobs Biography.” The Biography.Com Website, A&E Television Networks, 19 Aug 2020, https://www.biography.com/fashion-designer/marc-jacobs