A step into Bill Gaytten’s realm of artistic frills, hardened with a military inspiration and a rock ‘n’ roll edge.
Polka Dots and Chiffon Dreams
The collection begins as a seemingly simple (yet alluring) palette of black, navy and whites, which soon transcends into another mood altogether of royal blue with pangs of mustard yellow. These two entities are not worlds apart though, as designer Bill Gaytten continues with the use of luxuriously floating chiffon and a polka dot motif. It doesn’t get tiresome either. Although used in a horde of variables, it is the polka dot on chiffon combo itself, which makes for the most likeable looks this season. Gaytten doesn’t shoebox himself into one formula and it’s proven in his composition; he’s made just as much use of elongated streamlined shapes as he has done with flirty, girly frills. Beyond the staples, we see SS16’s most popular material – lace. It’s dabbled all around John Galliano SS16 – replacing cut out panels, the upper-half of dresses and subtle, understated bust slips that sneak through plunge cuts and transparent tops.
Household Cavalry Helmets
In their own space, Gaytten’s dresses are flattering, tasteful and feminine, but that’s perhaps not how you’d go about describing the collection as a whole. There’s another side to the frills and fringes – the John Galliano aesthetic this season has a darker but playful edge. You only need to look as far as the Household Calvary helmets cropping up on selected models, which any London tourist would recognise from the guards of Buckingham Palace. Perhaps not your usual choice of headgear, but they do tie in to the military/horse-guard jackets and the slick masculine cut trousers which sit on the hip bone.
Since Gaytten took up his residency as the designer of John Galliano (after Galliano himself departed), Gaytten has been known for his take on 60’s fashion which recent years has been thrown into a fully fledged revival. When The Beatle’s classic, ‘Twist and Shout’ fired up over the SS16 catwalk, it would have been anyone’s guess that he was at it again. There are certainly some 60’s references in Gaytten’s design structure, but it is undeniably discreet. Instead, we have a collection that is in line with modern tastes but still plays on some past-proven successes (long live the studded leather biker jacket!)
Words: Hannah Sargeant