@diorinthe2000s is a celebration of John Galliano’s magical coups-de-théâtre at Christian Dior in an era when the British designer reigned over French fashion
There’s no denying the genius of John Galliano. When the British designer unceremoniously fell from grace in 2010, it marked the end of an era – not just for Christian Dior, where he was artistic director since 1996, but also for fashion itself. The British designer’s tenure at the French couture house was defined by its spectacular fashion shows, cult pop campaigns and colourful, madcap fashion moments. It operated within the traditional pyramid structure – fantastical couture at the top selling the lipsticks and eye shadows at the bottom.
More than that, it reiterated the idea of fashion’s creationist myth, with Galliano as the grand architect ruling over every collection, lipstick launch and store opening. What he excelled at, however, was the shows – magical coups-de-théâtre that were bold, brave and beautiful, with show-stopping make-up courtesy of Pat McGrath and some of the most extraordinary millinery courtesy of Stephen Jones. Everything else paled anodyne in comparison.
Thank heavens, then, that someone is devoted to chronicling Galliano’s time at Dior – a 21-year-old fashion student in Santiago, Chile, nonetheless. Rodrigo Valderrama started @diorinthe2000s at the start of 2016 and just over two years later it’s one of fashion’s favourite digital destinations, with a fan base of both young designers and industry heavyweights. “I started the page because I basically wanted to see more Galliano for Dior content on Instagram, but there were always a few pictures in really low quality, so I thought I should do a page with all of this archive and, I mean, it was and it still is a fun thing to do.”
Cue close-ups of McGrath’s otherworldly beauty looks, the world’s top models in modern-day New Looks, Gisele Bündchen in high-gloss campaigns lensed by Nick Knight, and romantic editorials featuring the grandest of Galliano’s couture. “The reason I love this era so much – even when there are people that love the new minimalistic, wearable Dior – is that Galliano knows how to put on a good show, how to make you dream, how to set the standards for what it is to be an amazing fashion show for a legendary fashion house,” Valderrama enthuses. “The collection could be bad, good, incredible – but the show was always perfect, no matter what. I would describe this era as unforgettable.”
Indeed, Valderrama posts videos, catwalk looks and backstage pictures from Dior’s most memorable moments. His rules are that all pictures have to be high quality and, although he’s a fan of what Galliano did for his namesake label and Givenchy, all images must be from the 13-year tenure of Galliano at Dior.
The Chilean’s Instagram project has also had a dramatic impact on the direction his life. “I think it totally changed my life in a way that I wasn’t going to take the fashion passion any further but now I’m studying a career related to it and I hope to get into the fashion world and see everything with my own eyes,” he laughs. “It could sound stupid for some people because it’s just a social network and I’m not a celebrity and this material is not my own work – but it was what I needed to see more of, and say: ‘I want to be really into this forever’.”