Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano Homme takes to the runway, a new creative director takes the helm
Just two days after its founder stood trial in a Paris courtroom on charges of uttering anti-Semitic insults, the spring and summer 2012 John Galliano Homme collection took to the runway, with a new creative director taking the final bow.
Bill Gaytten, who spent the last 23 years working alongside Galliano at the label, briefly appeared at the top of the runway and gave a quick wave to the crowd before disappearing from view -- a stark contrast to Galliano's traditionally flamboyant post-show pose. According to a spokesman for the brand, the 51-year-old Gaytten, who holds a degree in architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, has been named to succeed Galliano -- who was fired by majority owner LVMH Louis Vuitton -- in the role of creative director.
Other than a new face at the far-end of the runway, the most noticeable difference this season was the absence of over-the-top styling, makeup and theatrical sets. (Last season's show, for example, involved pianos, candelabras, full-length dance mirrors and faux snow on the catwalk). The more subdued staging may have cut into the mood, but it made it a lot easier to envision the clothes as they'd most likely be worn.
According to the show notes, the collection had been inspired by the London Pop Art scene of the 1960s. Artist Peter Blake -- whose creations include the cover art for The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album -- inspired military jackets, frock coats and prints in a color palette of earthy tones with some pops of red.
David Hockney and his 1967 painting "A Bigger Splash," provided the jumping-off point for the collection's tailored pieces, both in the color palette of blues and whites and in a kind of Hockney costume consisting of preppy greens and reds, bow ties or school ties and the artist's signature round spectacles.
The last two groupings to hit the runway -- a selection of dressing gowns and underwear, followed by flashy evening wear (think silver embroidery snaking down the outside of a trouser leg and tuxedo jackets layered over rock T-shirts) may have switched up the print patterns (this time around it's chinoiserie-style bird prints) and colors, but are otherwise just variations of what's appeared on the John Galliano runway in the past.
Did Gaytten's inaugural "Big Splash" collection (the name refers to the aforementioned Hockney painting) live up to the name? In the end I don't think it did.
But the collection didn't sink -- or make waves -- either.
And that's a start.
Photos: (From top) the more subdued runway at the Galliano show; The label's new creative director Bill Gaytten salutes the crowd. Credits: Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images
A military look inspired by the work of Peter Blake; David Hockney was the inspiration for a colorful preppy look. Credits: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press
Slouchy pajamas. Credit: Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images