Bill Gaytten the man charged with continuing Galliano’s studio is in a difficult position. How does he give the Galliano brand his own identity without loosing the former designer’s DNA and unique handwriting that established the brand’s aesthetic?
Gradually Gaytten has begun to define his own vision and values. The latest show for spring was inspired by Surrealist themes that bought together a playful approach to menswear. Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Andre Breton were cited as influences and their associated imagery was literally translated onto clothes that seem to have a new sense of ease for Gaytten.
Top to toe matching prints, bias cut graphic black and white jackets, Magritte's fluffy clouds and blue sky and Dali’s lobster adorned a bare chested boy. Stephen Jones provided matching bowler hats and printed snail shells adorned cleverly cut coat and marching pants.
Gaytten is clearly less obsessed about telling a story that his predecessor but his calmer approach to design seemed more confident than previous outings.
Galliano menswear has a way to travel to recapture the earlier energy but perhaps it is now on track.