Add John Galliano to the list of brands going coed this season. The founder of the brand, who now designs for Maison Margiela, pushed the limits of the concept for spring at Margiela with a deep dive into gender fluidity. But Bill Gaytten, in charge of the John Galliano label since the exit of Galliano himself, took a more classical route.
Gaytten is fond of a theme, and this time it was “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” Though the show notes underlined he was referring to the original novel by Joan Lindsay, rather than the film adaptation by Peter Weir or the recent Amazon miniseries, the distinction was moot. The title has become synonymous with virginal Victorian dresses, straw boater hats and lace-up ankle boots, which formed the basis of the collection, though Gaytten brought a dose of punk attitude into the mix.
A sheer blue gown trimmed with white lace was paired with men’s Y-fronts featuring mesh side panels, while a dotted tulle pinafore topped a pair of briefs and a leg-of-mutton-sleeve shirt in the label’s signature Galliano Gazette print.
Tailoring crossed gender lines, with both sexes sporting variations on school uniform blazers and oversized workwear pants held up with broad suspenders. Dirt-trodden and fire-singed prints gave a battered feel to the men’s looks.
Galliano sits in the premium contemporary bracket now, and these pretty summer dresses will surely be an easy sell. But while Galliano the person continues to drive fashion in new directions, Galliano the brand seems content to remix his greatest hits.