Brand Meld: Fashion at its best, and most curious

August 14 2013

What happens when you have two brilliant designers with similar sensibilities, one who has rarely made a misstep in his storied career, and the other a rebellious, self-destructive genius? Obviously, you put the two of them together, mix it up, and come out with some extraordinary, unbelievably desirable evening wear.

                                  Images via and

John Galliano and Oscar de La Renta are both about all-out glamour, both with a deep understanding of what makes a woman look and feel like Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner. Galliano has always been more subversive, dark, and gothic than de la Renta, but the clothes that come out of the melding of his dark and light attributes are always spectacular, modern and yet with a deep reverence and knowledge of the past. His evening gowns can be theatrical – theatre married with the Duchess of Devonshire married with a sex club in some dark corner of the world.

De La Renta, on the other hand, has always called upon his Latin roots and love of women to inform his designs. He lives in the same sophisticated, refined world as the women he sells to – socialites around the world, women who want to look feminine and desirable. His work is meticulously adorned and often filled with a color and fire not frequently seen at the highest levels of haute couture.

De la Renta always claims that he won’t retire, but now in his 80s, he needs to plan for the future of his brand. The whole fashion industry has waited to see what would happen after Galliano’s try-out earlier this year, as at their roots, these two designers have a tremendous amount of crossover in their brand sensibilities. Fashion is the best place to study how brands are constructed and maintained, and in this regard, de la Renta would be making a smart move for his brand legacy and its ability to survive. Galliano will take the de la Renta brand and sex it up in a darker way, but he has the same understanding of how fantastic a woman feels when she is dressed, and desired, like a goddess.

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