A shadow of John Galliano at Paris Fashion Week A/W 2012
In his second season designing for John Galliano, Bill Gaytten pretty much stayed on message. It seems as if his task until a new maestro is announced is to just keep going on with John Galliano's vision as well as anyone other than Galliano himself can.
The collection had the beauty, the edge, the Victorian femininity mashed up with modern sexuality that we all loved about John Galliano's designs ... just somehow less so. It still feels like a less-inspired version of something else ... a sanitized version of Galliano ... no matter how close Gaytten gets it, right down to the fantastical headpieces (this season done in what we can assume to be real plumage).
There are some to die for pieces, for sure, and the workmanship and creativity are there. I just wonder how long the house can idle and stall before the public demands a successor and a new creative vision for the house known for innovation and cerebral, showstopping fashion.
Gaytten was inspired by the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, a late 19th century English society man and Art Nouveau sensation part of Oscar Wilde's circle. The Galliano girl this season was - as she often has been - very British, very equestrian. The show gave us some of the best accordion pleats of the season, which is saying something, and even kept the thigh-high trend from looking stale or overtly, overly sexual. (And isn't that a Galliano trick at that?)
Overall a very well done show. But it's not Galliano, and it's not something else. Give us a successor.