"Napoleon for the cut, Kurt Cobain for the fabric mix, John Galliano for the way you should put it all together." Thus spake the man himself as he posed in front of a huge Mondino photograph of himself in best piratical-urchin rig.
He could just as well have added Freddy Krueger (those tatty striped mohairs!) and Sherpa Tensing, the first man up Everest, to his list of guiding lights, but then a Galliano collection is dizzying enough in its farrago of color, texture, pattern, and shape that you can read almost anything into its fevered whirl. So voluminous suits in black and gold sequins evoked both Elvis and a hip-hop yeti, as the models lumbered by in massive ski boots. The Napoleonic coat was the defining item of the collection: whether in mohair, quilted tiger print, or white nylon, it exemplified Galliano's commitment to "cut with romance, with soul." A middle passage that saluted the pursuits of the English landed gentry with a red riding jacket, black frock coat, and jockey silks wasn't as successful (though the white trousers with the built-in cricket pads would make an ideal all-in-one on the playing fields of Eton), perhaps because there was less room for the grand gesture in such uptight clothing.
Much more in tune with the designer's wayward spirit was a sequence of Tibetan warriors in those huge coats, including one wild shearling tattooed with flowers and incongruously worn with a Montezuma-style headdress. Aztec or Mongol, it's all just grist for Galliano's promiscuously creative mill.