Sunday October 3, 2010 – Opera Comique
“Every time I look away she changes… what a hypnotic force the woman has!” Jean Cocteau wrote of his sittings with Maria Lani.
The relationship between the artist and the muse is as rich as the many faces of her allure, and has inspired an array of depictions, homages and masterpieces.
There was however one muse, one unique woman who, for a while, seemed to have the power to enchant them all…
Galliano Spring Summer 2011 takes its cue from the late 1920’s, when an actress named Maria Lami appeared on the Paris Art Scene.
Over the next two years she cast her spell over Paris, and convinced over fifty leading artists of the day to paint her portrait, on the pretext that their work would star, with this ingenue, in a Horror Movie about “the painting that came to life” …. Henri Matisse, Jean Cocteau, Marc Chagall, Fernand Leger, Chaim Soutine, Giorgio de Chirico and TsuguharuFujita were amongs the names she charmed. All agreed this intriguing character could, no must, sit for them.
Each outfit in the colllection is as individual as each portrait.
Pieces are worked to interpret the artist; the muse and her unique persona layering shapes and combinations of fragile fabrics. Fine inverted pleats open into brush stroke draping and puffed out nuage collars, asymetric layered ruffles evoke the refractions of her subtly ever-changing pose, while tailoring is belted high under the bust echoing Modigliani’s line.
Devore floral jacquard is layered with mousseline, gauze and tulle to create a subtke shadowy impression of the lady’s spirit. Oversize circular-cut trousers are veiled in black tulle and trenches are cut in X-ray-like organza exposing the inside/outside construction. For evening the draped and embroided dresses are inspired by Brancusi’s metallic sculptures.
But there is a twist to this true story …
Maria Lani was not an actress. There was no movie.
She took her paintings, sold them, and fled to the United States… and all all we are left with is the memory of her spirit as she leaves…
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John Galliano Spring Summer 2011 Fashion Show Video
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