Picturing a John Galliano collection without a bias cut gown is akin to imagining Miss Wintour sans her signature bob. It’s not gonna happen. And yet, over the past two seasons, Bill Gaytten has been treading closer and closer to this existential terrain — with varied results. Spring might be his most successful effort to date. He traded in 1920s theatrics, complex origami and general Galliano-ness (with all its airs de tranny) and focused on a sporty dynamism that could even verge on the practical.
Sleek overalls, techno-inspired suiting and flippy dresses were all re-imagined with state-of-the-art precision, topped with aerodynamic caps that were hybrids between helmets and visors. A quilted bomber here, perforated banana pants there — it all made for a handsome mix. Of course, for the finale, the designer couldn’t resist a few floating printed organza gowns — lovely, if safe, given what preceded them. Still, the message rang loud and clear: sometimes one must really embrace a makeover.