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08-07-2009
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Dior: The Borehouse
Back in 1873, we had a vivid discussion right here in the Designers & Collections forum of tFS called 'Dior: The Madhouse'. At that time Galliano had started doing his Surf, Rasta and Golf collections for the house...logoed tees and saddle bags were the ultimate commercial items, his mood was tranny to the max and high drama and his couture collections were unique, spectacular, full of spirit, new, influential and dropdead gorgeous. But some people around here were lusting for a more grown-up Dior, 'snapping back to chic', having more connection to Mr. Dior's work...maybe even having an updated version of the Bar Suit.

Right now, that is where we are at. An updated version of the Bar suit, a brand that aims more at women that aren't 20-something or teens, and a self-proclaimed snap back to chic and elegance Result: ultimate boredom. Everything is the same: lifeless, uninspired, redundant, barely influential, unspectular. BUT, it's all money in the bank (so it seems). IMO, today's Dior is not good: it's boring. Never could I have imagined that Dior would become boring. Ever since I discovered Galliano and Dior (I was a fanboy, yes), I thought of him as the master of show, beauty, invention and spirit. But those words are no longer applicable to that 12 year old combination.

What needs to change NOW? How can Dior become relevant again? How can Galliano make us gush over his couture collections again. What must happen to find a balance between The Madhouse and The Borehouse?

I thought this would be interesting to discuss since it's always brought up in every single Dior collection thread how we wish for the good ol' days to return. Just like we did in 1873

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08-07-2009
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I totally agree.

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08-07-2009
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+1.

For one thing, I hate the runways that zig zag all over the place, and stairs that go up and down. I prefer a simple straight runway. It should be the clothes that delight us, not the setting. Seems like he's been alternating between zig zag and normal runway each season.

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08-07-2009
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i personally speculate that the house of dior is evaluating whether or not they want to move forward with galliano. as much as i used to rant back in 1873 that the clothes weren't realistic and had no relationship to the stuff we saw in the stores, i never in my wildest dreams thought the pendulum could swing so far the other way. it's sort of like the house of prada. as much as i recoil at her more experimental and knowingly-ugly looks, it's part of her DNA. when she goes completely commerical, we lose interest. it's the same with dior: when he gave us a circus every season, we thought him insane -- although i believe the sales at the house back then beat expectations because they were compared against years of paltry sales. i mean, i know girls who had seven or eight saddle bags in different colors! friends of mine wore j'adore dior shirts to the gym! like, they made hand over fist money back then. and don't get me started on the logomania!

now, what's their entry point item? yes, i know quite a few who have fallen into a thrall over the lady dior and others, but there's just not the crazy excitement -- and spending -- that there used to be. also, i know that excitement used to invigorate the sales of their cosmetics and fragrance. add to that how crazy people were going over dior homme! i mean, men were WARDROBE shopping there. i don't know. i think they have to be re-assessing their strategy as they go forward else it doesn't make sense to continue to pay a man as creative as galliano to just create things that the staff at the atelier could do by heart.

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08-07-2009
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I think Galliano should infuse the tranny spirit into the Bar suit and make it new and cool. He should also come up with more of his own ideas, because right now he just seems to be doing the same old Dior suit again and again. It was good the first season, Fall 2008 HC, but it got old really quickly.

And unlike Littlearthquakes, I love that Dior's runways are always spectacular. It adds to the element. Plus if we were stuck with the same old clothes, a new background every season keeps it a little fun.

And what do you mean, 1873? tFS was opened in 2004 or 2005, right? Or I don't get the joke.

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08-07-2009
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In other words, centuries ago. yes it was a joke.

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08-07-2009
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I don't think we can really count out the death of Steven Robinson, he may have been just as responsible for the excitement at Dior as Galliano himself.

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08-07-2009
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It's a really interesting discussion, and I really am glad that you made a separate thread for it, Dale.

In all honesty, I just cannot put my finger on what exactly the heart of the problem truly is. Is it really Robinson's death? It is really Arnaut and Carcelle? Or is it something else entirely? I can't say.

Either way, something is up. I just cannot convince myself that Galliano has lost his talent, or even that Robinson was the real talent behind Dior. But, it has become painfully clear that Galliano is in a rut, a deep one.

So many of the things that made Galliano for Dior so great seemed to disappear without a trace, and it all started to happen around SS 07 couture. His sense of color went down the drain, the sexuality was suddenly suffocated, the inspirations became stale and out-of-touch, the list goes on and on.

The way I see it...the Dior girl, once a hip, urban, globetrotter, was whisked off her feet by some evildoer and quickly locked up in the Dior archives. She could no longer dress in her hobo rags found in dumpsters and dives, she could no longer wear her kimonos with her latex bras and panties that she picked up from the local sex shop, and she could no longer wear her silk tracksuit to go jogging down avenue Montaigne! Like Rapunzel, she's been left to rot in some abandoned tower, isolated from the world and oblivious to current culture. Her insatiable desire to dress up leaves her to resort to the Dior archives...all she can wear now are dated day suits and silly debutante ball gowns.

Someone has to let her out.

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08-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr-Dale View Post

What needs to change NOW? How can Dior become relevant again? How can Galliano make us gush over his couture collections again. What must happen to find a balance between The Madhouse and The Borehouse?
He can do this by NOT rehashing Christian Dior's 1947 New look collection every single season, no matter if it is couture or ready to wear, changing only the color and transparency of the fabric. i miss the old crazy john but i think the fashion press talked about him so that he has kind of gone into his creative shell. It as if he has left he building....kind of like Slimane at the end of his tenure at Dior Homme

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08-07-2009
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also i think some of the issue maybe that he hasn't been able to evolve from the New Romantic-history dependent-fashion theme that he does so well when all the celebrated designers now are focusing more on nebulous and abstract visions....

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08-07-2009
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I don't mind the crazy runway settings, in fact I prefer them over a straight forward runway, however the editing of Dior videos hardly do the beautiful settings justice. Plus, it gives the models more to work with and "model" more since most of them are so boring that I would simply snore if I was to see them just walk back and forth.

In terms of designing, he simply needs to do what he was doing back in the 90's and early 2000's. Which was taking an inspiration or a theme and portraying that theme as is and not looking back at past collections for what type of silhouettes or fabrics to use. Further more, his designs for the past couple of years have not been very "Galliano". I remember seeing videos of his collections back in the 90's. They were so inhibited, free spirited, and unapologetic. What happened to models wearing nothing but undergarments or see-through dresses accessorized with oversized pearl necklaces that dripped on the runway and flirted with the audience, even sitting on their laps? All of it gone; replaced by stale prude models wearing stiff shiny overly beaded fabrics who bite their pointer fingers to portray "sexy".

He needs to go back in time, that's what he needs to do.

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12-07-2009
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I agree that he sort of needs to go back in time and let the Dior Rapunzel out of her tower. Throw out that braided hair, climb down the wall and enter our streets again Miss Excitement!

I think the key thing is his inspirations. For the past couple of years Galliano has been going to museums, reading books, watching photographs and judging by the novelty and excitement of those collections, he's not a star at bringing something like that to life creatively. What he used to in the late 90's and early zeroes is take a hot air balloon and fly over Egypt, walk through the slums of India and dance with children, visit Chinese marketplaces and find himself lost in Turkish palaces of bygone times. THAT's what he is the king in IMO: go somewhere, totally live and breath the atmosphere and then put that energy in an amazing dress, shoe or coat bringing it to life. Combining that spirit in the clothes with a powerful soundtrack, amazingly capable models that understand the energy and dramatic make-up created awesome shows. How I wish for that to return. So please John, get on a plane and fly to friggin Alaska for all I care and sniff up the atmosphere!

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12-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littleathquakes View Post
For one thing, I hate the runways that zig zag all over the place, and stairs that go up and down. I prefer a simple straight runway. It should be the clothes that delight us, not the setting. Seems like he's been alternating between zig zag and normal runway each season.
I know! What happened to good old fashioned clothes speaking for themselves? Instead there's this wacky runway going all over the place. I feel like it's an attempt to distract from mediocre design.

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12-07-2009
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oh, an Alaskan inspired collection?



would love to know how that one would end up

lots of dead baby seals i guess..... :/

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12-07-2009
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God, this is a very difficult thread actually.

I mean I have a lot of ideas, of course, for Dior in general, but knowing the designer which Galliano is, most of my suggestions will fall flat since he would, or could, never do anything I would suggest... In a world when every girl is wearing tank-tops and jeans with a brand handbag, I guess Dior thinks that the only customers they can wholeheartedly serve to are the potential Chanel customers they try to steal with the suits etc. Galliano, to me, is a genius, but he was never the designer with the most exquisite taste that oozes elegance and refinement. He was always loud and mostly gimmick-y, but he was such a force, such a creative man, that anything he did came out to be genius.

His work was not empty spectacle: it had substance. And he was one of the very few who made fashion exciting, when Marc was designing the most boring grunge collections one after the other.

I think the only reason for this change is the business and what sells. Clearly, his recent collections sell like crazy since he is doing the same thing again and again season after season. At the same time, he is not the designer that does 'refinement' as well as many others, or let's say as effortlessly as he does the over-blown and ostentatious work. They have changed the interiors of the stores to Dior's signature dove grays and whites, they made everything look more mature and heavy... It seems they are trying really hard to reach and speak to that customer who has the money and is significantly older. Maybe the 'crazy Dior's customer no longer exists.

It is just sad to see Marc having all the fun with LV and MJ, and Galliano sending out season after season boring collections. What saddens me the most is, there was a time when the Dior accessories rocked the fashion world. The many many lines of bags, the sexiest shoes, belts... everything! Now, there is almost no respectable accessory line left at house. Nothing! I think LVMH is stripping Dior from all the accessories to help LV's sales even more. That would be a sad evaluation, but it seems so. And many pieces they put out look cheap and poorly made.

Dior is all over the place, and I do not know what we will see in the future that will excite us again. Even a little. I just want to see a young and careless Dior girl again... she was so seductive and cool, and on a par with the Gucci girl back in early 2000s. Those two were the only ones who mattered really... and now both seem to be dead!

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