The severe, linear, monochromatic collection that Bill Gaytten showed for John Galliano today felt like a very deliberate repudiation of the label's legacy of languid glamour and heady romance. "I'm not a soft, romantic person," Gaytten said dismissively. "There are no simpering sex kittens, no women who depend on men for their sense of identity." Take that, legacy! In its place, to the dislocated electronic sado-perk of Throbbing Gristle's "Hot on the Heels of Love," the designer offered an uncompromising vision of power women so strict and disciplined it bordered on the militantly Maoist.
If the Galliano ethos once embodied a lust for life so hungry and chaotic that it eventually overpowered its creator, Gaytten stripped his look back to a core of complete control—a pointy riposte, perhaps, to all those on-liners who endlessly carp about past glories. Over a sheathed body, Gaytten layered one big-sleeved, wide-pant silhouette that felt like a martial arts reference, or another peplumed shape that had a hint of WAC about it. But then he let himself go a little: red flocking on blue, a shiny print that looked like smears of asphalt, some darkly distorted woodland imagery. Acknowledgments, perhaps, of the DIsORder that Gaytten was once all too familiar with. He knocked it back with an evening group of penitential abstinence, languid glamour fiercely denied.