What does Galliano look like without Galliano? More alike than different, as it turns out. Bill Gaytten held tight to the original ethos of the label — girly and delicate — for his first collection, even drawing on the era that Galliano often plied for inspiration. “From Mary Pickford to Mary Poppins…movie stars inspire a modern new voice,” declared the program. But Gaytten put some distance between his point of view and Galliano’s.

The first thing to go was the theatrics — the painted faces, messy marcelled hair and the piled on styling. The hats, here crushed boaters, stayed. The tailoring was still pretty — solid, fitted jackets worn over full, pleated skirts — and the bias-cut dresses still filmy, dainty and a little retro for day, sheer and glamorous for evening.

If some of the fantasy and imagination were lost in the transition, there was a gain in clarity. Gaytten’s more natural (read: commercial) approach to the clothes worked. Those questioning how and why the line lives on, might now understand.

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