It’s 1993, and John Galliano is experiencing difficulties – his financial well has run dry and he is left unable to show during the AW93 season. His SS94 show (entitled Princess Lucretia) is his last chance to impress the fashion elite, so he creates an artistic masterpiece based around a princess that escaped from Russia in 1860. Lucretia belonged to a noble family intent on marrying her off against her will, so one night after attending an elegant ball, the princess fled into the night in her taffeta ballgown, her skirts blowing around her.
Galliano sought inspiration from this story and cast his young models in the role of Lucretia, instructing them to flee down the runway in exaggerated crinolines as a soundtrack of howling wolves echoed through the venue. In this video, we see Galliano briefing the already-iconic Kate Moss, then still in the infancy of her career. Playing up to the designer’s eccentric nature, the Croydon-born model sets into a run backstage as Galliano, sporting a Union Jack coat and bleached hair, whoops with delight.
Context is important here – this is the collection that would go on to catch the eye of Anna Wintour, who was so impressed that she used her connections to find a new financial backer for Galliano. His subsequent AW94 presentation became a show of fashion legend; an all-black collection staged in a dilapidated Parisian hotel which cemented the designer’s reputation as the darling of the industry. Created on a shoestring budget, the collection was modelled by a cast of the world’s most famous supermodels including Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and, of course, Moss, all of whom agreed to walk for free in support of the designer.