The question on everyone’s mind at the spring/summer 2013 John Galliano show was, “now that designer Bill Gaytten no longer has the pressure of producing a Christian Dior show, what effect will all of that extra time to focus on the John Galliano collection do for the brand?” The answer- Gaytten literally gave himself some room to breath.
His collection was all about volume. Every outfit was cut in oversized proportions that cocooned, layered upon, or stood away from the body. And to be quite honest the show was a bit of a shock. There was nothing in the collection (besides maybe the big floppy hats) that felt at all connected to the romantic DNA of the John Galliano brand.
But maybe that is exactly what this house needs. A clean brake from its namesake designer, so that the one now doing all the hard work will finally have an opportunity to express his own sartorial point of view. It remains to be seen however, if there is a place for his voluminous options next season. The wide, pointy-sided shorts, long dresses with broad bulbous fabric blooming out from the waist to the knees and blanket-like jackets, might be a hard sell.
If not every outfit was a sartorial winner, there were enough ensembles in the collection that used an architectural approach to their construction to make it look like the brand is moving forward. In particular, the A-line gowns that folded the fabric over the body or used a clever black and white print of cars stuck in traffic for a graphic effect. One gown even featured a print of a man leaping freely into the air across the skirt. It was an image that could have a particular resonance for Gaytten this season.
- Jessica Michault