John Galliano: Frederick The Great is a Somali Pirate
Sat Jan 24, 10:00 PM EST
Godfrey Deeny

Paris – Right when the fashion pack was about to die from that saddest of all causes - boredom - along came John Galliano with a piratical folly, a restoration tour de force and a great new series of street chic, in a collection with the freshest fashion ideas so far in the fall 2009 season.

Staged Friday in a massive, decayed train depot, illuminated by 18,000 candles, their lights transmogrified by an equal number of crystal baubles, the show had that key Galliano hallmark - too much is never enough.

Surely men's fashion's most imaginative designer at present, Galliano sent a charming bunch of models on to his runway - debauched lawyers, dreadlocked pirates and Restoration rascals. But a favorite had to be his naughty quintet of Midsummer Night's Pucks, chest hair and six-pack abs painted on their torsos.

Throughout, you had to love the use of the Galliano Gazette, Galliano's own "newspaper" used in the brigand's bomber jackets, courtier's oratory coats and dressing gowns - a look making a big comeback, as designers wager that many of us will be spending lots of time at home, and not in the office this coming winter.

But where other labels have retreated into sober nesting, Galliano grasped the fact that we all need is a little fun this fall. So, he also sent out great highwayman coats and wild rover jodhpur jeans and boots, a devil may care look that drew huge cheers from the fanatical crowd of 1,000 guests.

Backed up by a great soundtrack featuring cuts from "Slumdog Millionaire" and starring a great cast in powered wigs, ideal for a ball in Frederick the Great's Sans Soucis palace, this was a life affirming moment, and a brilliant statement of radical style.

With most of the industry focused on hunkering down, this was all about taking risks - dressing for a Somali pirate Sans Souci after party.

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