The Spring collection from Maison John Galliano rediscovers the delight of dressing up by seeing it through a young girl’s eyes. Picture trunks filled with clothes accumulated over generations; a wondrous pile of cast-off garments that carry the traces of adventure, romance and lives well lived.
Some in poor conditions, some as good as new, these men’s and women’s item wait to be tried and played with according to the naïve whims of a precocious imagination. It is in this spirit that creative director Bill Gaytten has conceived a lineup that intersperses recreated period pieces with underpinnings to arrive at looks that are aristocratic and naïve in equal measure – removed from the ordinary but relevant nonetheless.
Within a muted palette, the offering features an array of new collectibles. Men’s jackets in upholstery stripes or else printed with hand-staining techniques have been further distressed and reembroidered, while trousers appear intentionally oversized. Delicate, sheer silk chiffon, lace and tulle dresses channeling the 1930s are accentuated with bias ruffle tiers and draped décolleté that remain the Maison John Galliano signature.
Many benefit from beautiful antique-style embroideries: stripes of black bugle beads, shimmering floral patterns and “negative flower” reliefs, Faded toile de Jouey, vegetal jacquards and army leggings serve as additional heirloom-inspired separates. Visible undergarments – knickers and bras – project innocence rather than seduction. Papier mâche masks – formed, painted and whiskered by Stephen Jones millinery studio – pose atop the head with enchanted edge. Among the menagerie: a rabbit, owl, lion, dog and zebra, plus two oldfashioned comic heroes.
Wraparound leather belts, single black feathers, and animal charms are layered in – sometimes generously – just as a girl would pile on family keepsakes. Finally, stiletto sandals with leaf detailing and The Chain, a new bag exclusively available at John Galliano boutiques transform a childlike daydream into a modern, feminine vision. “For me, this collection reawakens the imagination, “ says Bill Gaytten. “By virtue of the storyline, it mixes savoir faire with “the joy of dressing”: it resonates today.”