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Gods and Kings

April 03, 2015

Journalist and author Dana Thomas’ new book, Gods and Kings, tells the true story of the rise and fall of the preeminent fashion designers of their era: John Galliano, head of Christian Dior, and celebrated designer Alexander McQueen. Both arrived on the fashion scene in the mid-1990s, when the business was in an artistic and economic rut. They shook up the establishment with their daring designs and theatrical fashion shows, helping to transform luxury fashion into a multi-billion-dollar-a-year global industry. Both became casualties of the conflicts between art and commerce that have raged within fashion for the last two decades, which Thomas chronicles in her new book. On April 13 she’ll visit Westphal to speak to Drexel students about Galliano and McQueen and the relentless world of couture.

The talk, which is open to Drexel students only on a first-come, first-served basis, will take place at 6:00pm in URBN Center Room 349. Thomas will discuss the two designers whose distinct styles not only influenced fashion, but a wide-ranging media landscape. Both Galliano and McQueen were pushed to work at an unsustainable pace and meet increasingly rapid deadlines. Galliano imploded with a drunken, anti-Semitic public tirade, and exactly a year earlier, McQueen took his own life three weeks before his women’s wear show. Thomas’s murky story about excess, commerce and the high theater of fashion builds on her 2007 book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, a New York Times bestseller.

Thomas is a contributing editor for The New York Times Style Magazine and a regular contributor to Architectural Digest. She began her career writing for the Style section of The Washington Post and has served as a cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris. She has written for The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle Décor, and was the European editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. This is her second visit to Westphal

For more information about the event please contact Catherine Byers at