John Galliano, the name synonymous with haute couture, needs no introduction in the fashion world. A flamboyant figure revered for his creative genius and intricate designs. Yet, there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to this fashion stalwart. Let’s delve deeper into the life of this enigmatic personality with 10 things you didn’t know about John Galliano.

1. Born in Gibraltar

John Galliano was born in Gibraltar but moved to London when he was just six years old. His father, a plumber, hoped for better job prospects in England. The change in landscape and culture had a deep impact on young Galliano and can be seen in his eclectic personal style and flamboyant runway designs.

Despite leaving at an early age, Galliano never forgot his roots. He often incorporated Spanish flamenco themes and British rock vibes into his collections, creating an interesting and unique mix that became a hallmark of his brand.

2. He Studied at Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design

Galliano’s passion for fashion led him to pursue a degree at Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world. It was there that his unique aesthetic started to shine through, and he began to make waves in the fashion world.

His graduation collection, ‘Les Incroyables,’ inspired by the French Revolution, was so well received that it was bought up entirely by the London boutique, Browns. This early success catapulted Galliano into the spotlight and he started his journey as a designer.

3. Historic Win at British Designer of the Year

In 1987, Galliano etched his name in history by winning the ‘British Designer of the Year’ award. He garnered much attention from the fashion industry with his innovative and intricate designs.

It wasn’t a one-off. Galliano made history by bagging this prestigious honor not once, not twice, but four times! His awards in 1987, 1994, 1995, and again in 1997 highlighted the consistency and caliber of his works.

4. Galliano as Creative Director at Givenchy

In 1995, Galliano proved that he was a game changer when he was chosen as the creative director of Givenchy, a leading French fashion house. He became the first British designer to head a French couture house.

His couture collection for Givenchy was met with rave reviews, as he breathed new life into the storied brand with his innovative outlook and unique designs.

5. He Transformed Dior

After two years at Givenchy, Galliano moved to Dior in 1997. He transformed the esteemed fashion house into a creative powerhouse during his tenure. His extravagant runway shows and unique designs were a huge success.

His first collection, the “Tramp Ball,” was a radical departure from Dior’s traditional elegant glamour, instantly making headlines and setting new standards in the fashion industry.

6. Awards by Queen Elizabeth II and the French Ministry of Culture

Galliano’s impact on the fashion industry has been recognized beyond the spheres of fashion. Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the title of ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in 2001 for his significant contributions to the fashion industry.

The French Ministry of Culture also honored him with the prestigious ‘Chevalier of the Legion of Honour’ in 2009. These honors underline Galliano’s status as a fashion juggernaut and his influence on the industry.

7. The Kate Moss Wedding Dress

Galliano was chosen by supermodel and close friend Kate Moss to design her wedding gown in 2011. Moss’s vintage-inspired, floor-length dress was heavily embellished and made headlines around the globe.

The intricate and highly detailed dress, which required hundreds of hours of work, further consolidated Galliano’s reputation as a master couturier.

8. Controversy and Dismissal

Galliano’s career was not without controversy. His illustrious tenure at Dior ended in disgrace in 2011 when he was fired for making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris café. The incident shocked the fashion world and led to a trial where Galliano was found guilty.

The designer later apologized for his actions, attributing his behavior to alcohol and drug addiction. He sought help and took a break from the industry to focus on his recovery.

9. Galliano’s Comeback with Maison Margiela

Galliano made his comeback in 2014 when he was appointed creative director at Maison Margiela. Under his leadership, the brand has seen a creative rejuvenation, with Galliano injecting his own unique style into the label’s collections.

His designs for Maison Margiela have been well-received, with critical collections being hailed by both reviewers and the public alike for their innovation and individuality.

10. Galliano’s Passion for Costume and Theater

Aside from fashion, Galliano has a keen interest in costume design and theater. His love for elaborate costumes and dramatic themes is clearly visible in his runway presentations.

His theatrical style and love for dramatic narratives have been a constant source of inspiration, and his creations often blur the lines between clothing and costume, solidifying his standing as one of the most exciting and innovative designers in fashion.

After diving into these interesting facts, it’s safe to say that John Galliano is truly more than just a fashion designer. He is an artist with an unrivaled vision and has certainly left an indelible impact on the world of fashion.

For more information on John Galliano, visit the following links:

Wikipedia Info on John Galliano
Business of Fashion Profile