Thursday, August 25, 2011

Editorial: John Galliano Who?

Just about five months after John Galliano's firing from the venerable French house of Christian Dior, the fashion world is abuzz with imminent news of his replacement; and it seems as though Bernard Arnault did not have to go much further than his own stable (Louis Vuitton) to find him. The name Marc Jacobs has been on everyone's lips as of late, and not only is it not one bit surprising: it actually seems like the perfect fit (a match made in fashion heaven).

The award winning talented designer, beloved by fashion editors (it hasn't hurt him one bit that Anna Wintour has been a longtime friend), is one of those 'elite' names of international designers who 'matter' from one season to the next. Marc has a proven track record (look what he's done for Louis Vuitton since taking over as creative director) and an impressive resume that belies his relatively young age (48) and in fact, he was the most recent recipient of the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award (in his case as, he put it, hopefully it will be a 'half' lifetime achievement award).

From that very first 'grunge' collection for Perry Ellis, up until the present, he has managed to create buzz, excitement, and drama. Not one to play it safe, his fully realized, love it or hate it shows (mainly the former), are wildly anticipated, considered to be must sees each and every season, and are extremely influential.

An apt pupil who appears to successfully soak in his surroundings, his dual citizenship has served him well (he lives in both New York and Paris). Marc has been able to tap into the current zeitgeist and has his finger on the pulse of popular culture. He respects the past, has thorough knowledge of fashion history, and is as adept with dressmaker skills and impeccable tailoring. With a wink and a nod, he can be thoroughly classic and subversive at the same time (who else can make a peter pan collar look kinky?)

Finally, it's not lost on me that he shares the same first name and spelling, as the legendary Marc Bohan, who was creative director of Christian Dior from 1960 (when Yves Saint- Laurent left) up until 1989, AND, he is Jewish, which is ironic considering John Galliano was fired because of racist and anti-semitic rantings.

-Marilyn Kirschner

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