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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

John Galliano’s Russian Émigrés Rogues

Godfrey Deeny
January 22nd, 2011 @ 10:13 AM - Paris

The John Galliano runway Friday, Jan. 21, in Paris was an immigration platform meets a classic dance studio, the cast the virtual extended family of ballet great Rudolf Nureyev, the clothes a roguish collection of historic emigre fashion. Welcome to Galliano's latest menswear runway show, the biggest fashion fantasy moment of the entire European collections so far.

Beginning in a fake, but beautifully staged, snow storm entrance, a series of heavily coated rascals marched down the catwalk, from Siberian gamblers in battered mini tweed jackets and patchwork leather boots to bearded Ivan the Terrible robbers in giant great coats, with bags slung over their shoulder out of which poked stolen candlesticks.

"It was Rudolf Nureyev, his dad, granddad and uncles all showing up at immigration with all their stolen swag; then Rudy becoming a superstar and hanging out with Lord Litchfield and Mick Jagger," explained Galliano post show.

"Leningrad - New York" read the sign at an imaginary rail platform for this gutsy show, which highlighted everything that is great about Galliano - a wicked imagination, absurdist fantasy, snazzy tailoring and love of transgender fashion.

But don't think this was just some absurdist romp. Galliano might be a demanding wear for some men, but if a man has panache and style, he can look great in his clothes. Take his scintillating silvery pony-skin trench coat, Carnaby Street style double breasted Crombies worn with flowing silk scarves or beautiful matinee idol tuxedos - a natty new Nureyev for the age of the Internet.

Transgender elements rifled through the whole show, as a half dozen men appeared in tights, woolly Flashdance socks and micro corsets, many bearing silver paint strokes on their chests the better to give them huge pectoral muscles.

"I read a life of Nureyev last year, and admired his courage to defect to the West and his energy and sense of style. And, of course, we had to include him training for ballet. That's what made him so remarkable," said Galliano, who took his bow, dressed like a Tatar prince, bedecked in amulets, paisley Afghan pants and tattered leather boots. The only thing missing was a forged passport.

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