Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
PARIS–PARIS–Moments before several bursts of bright lights shone up and down the runway, signaling the start of the show, loud cheers and hand clapping could be heard coming from the backstage area. It’s a familiar sound for anyone who’s been a regular at Galliano shows prior to the designer’s dismissal from his brand last March, and before John Galliano went on trial last week.
But the air of familiarity ended there.
As the burst of lights ended the first model emerged, wearing a mid-length red wool military coat with black trousers and black top hat with white feathers. He was followed by a model in a white buttoned cadet coat with a cotton pattern sweater and cotton print pants–without the elaborated hair and makeup and sometimes body painting of a typical Galliano runway.
The show followed the precise script of the 1960s London Pop Art scene, especially inspired by Peter Blake’s design of the cover art for the Beattles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Daywear included a dark blue cotton single-breasted suit with a lime green short coat, an optic white single-breasted suit, and an ecru jacket paired with aqua blue shorts. reflecting the bright colors of David Hockney’s “A Bigger Splash”-era in Los Angeles.
There was the obligatory section of lounge wear and underwear, this time minus some of the added stuffing of season’s past. Well, underwear is one of the best selling items from the brand.
At the end of the show Billy Gaytten, who has been with Mr. Galliano for 23 years, took a bow. An email the following morning confirmed his appointment as the new creative director for the brand.
Even without the snow storm and thunder on stage emulating an escape from Soviet Russia like last January’s show, the clothes in this collection looked just as fine as they had always were when you unravelled the theatrics. But I remember the first Galliano men’s runway collection shown in January 2004 featuring models like Tony Ward acting out Lord Byron’s Don Juan poem on the outskirts of Paris. That was a moment of fashion magic.
**Photos by Imaxtree.