Byline: Miles Socha

NEW YORK — There are no cardboard crab contraptions or hand-painted wearable seahorse floats in the new John Galliano shop at Saks Fifth Avenue here, even though those child-like creations were a big part of the designer’s wild runway romp in Paris last month.
But they might yet have more time in the spotlight. Galliano said Saks had expressed interest in putting one of his paper creations in its windows. And rest assured, they’ll be archived, not scrapped. “I’d like to keep a couple for the garden,” the designer mused.
There is method to his madcap ways. Galliano insisted his arts-and-crafts experiments would translate into future collections, perhaps in the form of more “primitive cuts.”
“That was an expression of art and joy,” he said of his show. “Sometimes you have to do that type of thing.”
There were doubters, for sure, but “that type of thing” has translated into “the best-selling collection we’ve ever done,” Galliano said.
“I think the collection was fabulous,” agreed Christina Johnson, chief executive officer of Saks, which hosted a cocktail party at the store and a dinner afterward at La Grenouille to inaugurate the new 500-square-foot shop. “We are very much believers in John Galliano and his wonderful creative talents.”
A two-day trunk show of Galliano’s fall collection that ended Wednesday yielded orders of about $200,000. On the most wanted list were: black devore gowns, six orders placed at $2,460 a throw; crocodile-printed cashmere twin sets for $2,100, a dozen ordered; and a kiwi suede zip-front jacket for $2,580, also yielding a dozen orders.
While guests milled around the red-carpeted shop inspecting python-printed cashmere twinsets and paint-splattered suits, Galliano loped in just as the hard-house beats kicked in and a gaggle of model groupies floated in wearing his wispy, tie-dyed chiffon numbers and killer lace-up boots.
Tanned and buff, with his shirt flaring open and his feet tucked into jeweled flip-flops, Galliano said he planned to knock around New York for a couple of weeks to research his next three collections: his spring signature line, spring Christian Dior ready-to-wear and fall Dior Couture. It’s something he’s done for the past two years. On his agenda are museums, photography exhibitions, art galleries and intensive people-watching.
“I get greatly inspired here,” he said, grinning his signature pirate grin. “I like the energy.”