What was John Galliano thinking about as he conjured up his spring 2005 collection? Here's what: Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, one of the most iconic society figures of twentieth century America, meets Sienna Miller, It girl Brit actress starring in the twenty-first century remake of sixties film Alfie. Where? At England's legendary Glastonbury Festival. What did they do? Rocked out, into the wee hours, to a soundtrack of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "Good Vibrations," and "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
All over the place? Yes, but this is Galliano's modus operandi: to layer disparate reference upon disparate reference, then top off the lot with some very playful, inventive accessories. The strategy stretches right back to his time in London in the eighties, where strips of twig, smashed eyeglasses, and even some fish all turned upmemorablyon the runway. This time round, Galliano must have hit Toys "R" Us for the kids' balloons that trailed behind the models and the inflatable plastic pool toys that were worn as hats. Yet there were more "serious" accessories here, too: Bollywood-worthy fake-flower cuffs and necklaces; slouchy sequin knit hats, the likes of which you'd never have seen on any Seattle grungester in the nineties; and fur used for thong-tied flat bootsan unexpected, and highly effective, counterpoint to the more extravagantly glamorous evening looks.
What to wear to this strange, fabulous party? How about the Schiaparelli-esque gold lamé fitted jacket, with enormous folds of fabric dramatically draped onto the shoulder, or a gem-studded, tiny-waisted ombré chiffon ball dress (the Hutton influence)? Perhaps you'd prefer a shiny, swirling, hallucinogenic floral coat, or a lime-green ruffled dress with a psychedelic cartoon-print scarf trailing off the shoulders (for a Miller moment).
Either way, with all this going on, there's no need for Galliano's usual heavy, theatrical makeup. Just let your face go naked, let down your hair, and party!