John Galliano’s years at the helm of Dior were a golden age of couture, innovation, and spectacle. Drawing on Christian Dior’s original New Look and notion of femininity, Galliano crafted sartorial interpretations of both history and pop culture. The British designer created collections-cum-narratives around themes like The Matrix’s dark, evil romance, or, for his own line at the time, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and the lost Romanov Princess Anastasia. In the 2000s, a Galliano show was just as much an elaborate work of theatre as it was a presentation of clothing.
The wunderkind designer was recognized widely for his work at the French maison. He was named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and a Royal Designer for Industry. Galliano won British Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards—on four separate occasions. After his time at Dior came to an end due to widely reported racist remarks, the designer spent several years out of the sartorial spotlight before being appointed Crreative Director of Maison Margiela in 2015.
While the innovative artist has had success at the Belgian-born label, fans and critics alike still regard his years at Christian Dior’s helm an unreplicable era in fashion. L’OFFICIEL celebrates Galliano on his birthday by remembering some of his most iconic moments at the House of Dior.