PFW REVIEW | JOHN GALLIANO S/S 14
Since John Galliano’s departure, Bill Gaytten has been in search for the house’s new identity. His leadership started as a continuation of Gallianoesque patterns. Indeed, watching Gaytten’s past collections has been more akin to looking at that one person you just can’t seem to shake. Last season was Gaytten’s first true attempt at differentiation. In this most recent collection, however, we see a more solid construction of a new personality, distinguishing the current from the past.
This attempt presented itself most visibly in the literal indices of building: construction hats, utilitarian metallic belts, and structured silhouettes. Headwear made constant appearance throughout the collection. They were streamlined, however, to seem like wearable baseball caps. Their bright color was a popping counterpoint to the romanticizing fantasy of the brand’s founder. The silhouettes also highlighted Gaytten’s attention to trends in their sporty quality. The bust of one bright yellow dress was essentially a chic sweatshirt in organza; a pearlescent pink jacket in perforated silk reminded me of mesh athletic clothes, blown up to the scale of abstraction.
But these clothes were also political, and not in the government shutdown sense of the word. These clothes—and that’s what they were, instead of compelling dreams—were vectors for what might be Gaytten’s true identity, if we are to speculate. The collection was not minimal. But there was a cleanliness, as if Gaytten was attempting to carefully scrub the past away. The brand’s codes peeked through in the runway-ready gowns that closed the presentation. Mostly, however, Gaytten articulated a breakaway vision. Though sometimes erring on the side of kitschy or elementary, the collection had fulfilling spunk, replacing what had been missing in his previously bland experiments.
Text: Erich Kessel Jr.
Photo: Caroline Levy-Bencheton
- October 07