Galliano shows how to dress like a star and dance all night

IT WAS almost two hours late and Madonna could wait no longer. She stormed out two minutes before John Galliano's show began.

But no one gave her a second glance as the lift doors of a photographic studio on the outskirts of Paris opened to reveal a Fifties siren in a chalky-pale, tightly fitted taffeta jacket and a slinky floor- length skirt complete with an enormous primrose bustle.

Madonna should have waited. She would have witnessed, on Wednesday night, sleekly fitted pencil skirts of the kind Claudette Colbert would have worn to lunch with Clark Gable, and orientalist kimonos a latterday Gloria Swanson would wear for reclining on a chaise-longue.

She would also have seen one of the most breathtaking fashion extravaganzas. The singer who had long flirted with erotica and Hollywood glamour could have picked up a few tips on how to dress like a grown-up star.

For John Galliano is not just the new holder of the British Designer of the Year title. He has reached the very top of the pyramid of internationally acclaimed designers.

The French adored the show. The Americans (who now like to claim Galliano as their own, for the money that funds his talent comes, primarily, from the United States) were ecstatic. And we Brits, who have supported him since his student collection was snapped up and placed in the windows of the west London emporium Browns, were breathless.

Galliano has led us to expect a great deal. It was he, along with our other great British export, Vivienne Westwood, who took underwear and made it outerwear. It was he who first thought the time was right to spit in the eye of drab deconstructed clothes and send models out in hugely impractical, but exquisite ballgowns. Last season, he showed a mere 17 outfits, so good that they made him Designer of the Year. This time, the audience was anticipating a spectacle.

We got it. Fashion is renewing its love affair with pretty and Galliano is among those encouraging women to take a dainty step back towards dressing like ladies.

But what about women who want to dress like women? Galliano is wise enough to realise that practical 'wash and wear' clothes - trousers, sweaters, shirts, fluid skirts an so on - are not his forte. So he leaves those to others.

His territory is alluring clothing only suited to the cocktail hour, and who gets the chance to observe that anymore? But oh] how these clothes make you want to. They make you want to dance all night, spread your wings and do a thousand things. They make you want to believe in romance.

Galliano's wonderful ballgowns, his bias-cut slinky shifts and his little lace blouses may have no room in your wardrobe, but they do turn up on the richest women at the smartest of European parties. And both at society weddings and fashion 'in-crowd' nuptials, Galliano has become the designer of choice. No wonder the man who puts up the money, John Bult of Paine Weber, applauded so forcefully.

Fashion, pages 30-31

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory