During Paris menswear, John Galliano rebooted with a fresh visual identity, and also a new outlook for designer Bill Gaytten as he moved the brand's men and women lines towards a high end contemporary line with a youthful mien. Today, it was the first full look at his womenswear live on a runway rather than rails.
The initial order of business was to return to his roots, and those of the brand, by examining Britishness, seen through the kaleidoscope of its sartorial history. From tailoring to punk, from uniforms to underdressed, the staples of the genre were reinterpreted in gossamer thin fabric. All charming, but extra points went to blazers with sheer panels and parkas in mesh, perfectly cut and a testament to Gaytten's talent in this field. Beading and delicate laces were paired with restraint. The lingerie overtone of many of the dresses was offset by the London energy that pulsated heavily from the runway.
Whereas Galliano had come to represent British eccentricity at its wildest, Gaytten offered a variant that felt more fit to the lifestyle of his youthful target, unwilling to fetter themselves in fussy friperie. And although the trappings of Brit rock are tropes seen elsewhere many times and seasons over, it didn't take away from this collection's sheer loveliness. In turn, that felt like a fresh breeze breathing life into a gasping brand.