If there's one thing you can rely on John Galliano to provide, it's entertainmentthough not necessarily the kind where the audience is meant to be scribbling down style numbers or sketching dresses. This season, his roll-up, roll-up fashion sideshow had a moral: Everybody's beautiful; live and let live; respect one anotherthat sort of thing. Against a schlocky 1920's Art Deco theater set, he sent out a parade of proud couplesgrande dames and gigolos, blondes and sugar daddies, fat ladies and admiring lovers, lipstick lesbians, bearded transvestites, and midget fiancésabout to be wed.
It's a long time since the fashion world has been reminded that humanity contains more variety than the standard race of 5-foot-10 skinnies who populate the runways. And Galliano's alternative cast, coiffed and made up in a style that suggested cabaret performers and their patrons, played their parts with a celebratory sense of enjoyment. Sure enough, the contagious atmosphere sent a rare outbreak of smiles through the show-fatigued audience.
Those who were also scrutinizing the presentation for a Galliano fashion update among the costumes came away with slim pickings, however. There were a couple of sinuous, vaguely twenties, Spanish hot-pink chiffon dresses, some champagne satin corseted gowns swathed in green tulle, the odd net-veiled jacket, and a bit of jeanswear going on. But beyond that, precious few clues about what this collection will look like once it reaches stores. Still, that's the way Galliano likes to project his house image these days: frolics on the runway, frocks back at the shop.