There’s a new kid at John Galliano menswear. Except he isn’t new and he isn’t a kid. In fact, Bill Gaytten has been with the company 23 years. For all intents and purposes, he’s been the designer’s right-hand man. And while it was discomfiting to see someone else take the bow—a cherished ritual for Galliano, involving hands-on-hip posing and come-hither gazing at the cameras—let’s not forget he was a little preoccupied with a certain trial this week.
For spring, Gaytten was inspired by the 1960s Pop Art scene in London, sparked by a visit to Peter Blake’s studio. The artist who created The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover informed the dandyish military jackets, sweet knitwear, target prints, linen coats and drop-crotch pants in a palette of sage green, stone and mustard.
The collection then turned to David Hockney’s version of the 60s, with the aquatic blue, foam green, and oatmeal the artist used in his L.A. paintings, as well as his signature bow ties, baseball hats and round Elton John-style glasses—outrageous separates that worked well together. The understated standout piece here was a black seersucker suit—perfect for a garden party, summer funeral or courtroom appearance.
The finale was a night out at the underground clubs of London’s Mayfair and Soho scene, a starry mix of artists, rock stars and models in lush embroidery, busy prints and a play on the classic cravat. Tuxedos were worn with rock tees or oversized shirts, sometimes matched with Mick Jagger-worthy tight pants in Galliano’s trademark Gazette print—as if there weren’t already a sensational and very real headline for the tabloids.