JOHN GALLIANO AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

JOHN GALLIANO AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

The situation is almost unprecedented. Bill Gaytten is designing a collection under the rubric John Galliano, while the man himself is mounting a presentation elsewhere that looks to be getting closer to embodying the essence of anything the world might construe as “Galliano.” Gaytten, who has been steward of the Galliano name since the whole dismal incident in La Perle, could justifiably be raising his hands to heaven and bleating, “Oh, Lord, how thankless thou art.” Instead, he forged on with a show today that did the job, telling a coherent story from beginning to end, offering bits and pieces that touched on trends, primarily the long coat over the short skirt.

Gaytten said it was fabric research that steered him in the collection’s Art Deco direction. What would an Astaire-Rogers movie have been like in color? Maybe it would have been beaten gold and silvery flou. Gaytten needle-punched gold lamé and knit together for a tank top and paired it with coppery, cropped pleated pants. Metallic silver jacquards were everywhere, sturdy in miniskirts, achingly fragile in chiffon blouses. Fish were a recurrent motif, embroidered on a one-shouldered evening dress or a short, cape-draped shift.

With Galliano himself back in action, Gaytten will have to weather inevitable comparisons. He clearly has corporate support (LVMH honcho Sidney Toledano was front-row center as usual), but someone in a fool’s paradise might entertain the notion of a reunion with John, especially when there were such glaring flaws in today’s show. (All that red! Ouch!) Gaytten’s cut, Galliano’s creativity: It was a dream team then.

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