John Galliano on Dior, Fashion and Style

The designer addresses the renovated Dior flagship and his own creative process.

WWD: Is it hard for you to switch from men’s wear to haute couture mode and then back?

J.G.: Look at me. Does it look like it’s hard to switch?

WWD: Is that hat Mongolian lamb?

J.G.: Ah! This is my favorite milliner extraordinaire, Stephen Jones. This [pulling at his jacket sleeve] is a great kid, but no one knows about him. He’s an English boy called Paul Harnden. You’ll find his stuff in L’Eclaireur. I’ve told my French friends and they’ve gone in there to try and find out about him, but he’s very Greta Garbo. He does that rough kind of tweed and stuff. I buy all my stuff from him.

WWD: Have you met him?

J.G.: I can’t get ahold of him. I believe he lives in England by the sea. Paul, we love you! If you get to read this piece.

WWD: Who else’s clothes have you worn? It’s one thing to say ‘This person is good’ but another to go out and buy.

J.G.: I wear lots of different designer clothes, even young designers that are still at school. You know, I’m the president for Fashion Fringe in London with Colin McDowell, Uncle Colin, who actually was my professor, too. He was one of my teachers when I was at [Central] Saint Martin’s School of Art. And I went out there to judge the competition and I bought a few bits and pieces from them. I’m always checking out the markets. I mean, I love fashion.

WWD: What do you love about fashion now?

J.G.: The diversity. There is so much out there that encourages you to be individual.

WWD: Do you think most fashion consumers take advantage of that?

J.G.: Do they? Well, we’re there to help; we’re there to direct; we’re there to inspire. It’s much easier when there’s someone there to inspire you, to help you, to make you maybe notice the finer, beautiful points that you’re not aware of and enhance those bits. Everyone gets so obsessed with hiding bits that they don’t want to show anything. Sometimes they forget their wonderful neck or profile or ear or whatever. I think that’s important.

WWD: To find the good parts and show them off?

J.G.: To find someone who knows the collection. Don’t ever go with a girlfriend! Leave her in the car park. Because she’s only shopping for herself and her boyfriend — not for you. The last person she’s thinking of is you. It’s the same thing with boyfriends. Don’t go shopping with boyfriends. They’re only thinking of themselves, too. Place your trust in the manager, the guy who knows the brand, who will tell you the story about the finish or these little loops and blah, blah, blah, blah. And choose somewhere where the light’s not too bright. And enjoy it. Enjoy!

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