Why surrealism? "It was a good excuse to be able to do the kind of clothes I wanted," Bill Gaytten said after his show for John Galliano tonight, "doing things you're not supposed to." Many naughty boys have used fashion to bite their thumbs at The Man. But Gaytten's homage to surrealism had a joyfulness not often achieved by any of them, and long since absent from this particular label. Uncouth shall set you free.

His collection skipped happily from Magritte's clouds to Dalí's lobster (memorably borrowed before by Schiaparelli, and later Prada), from the flower bed to the constellations. On his list of don'ts-made-dos: top-to-toe matching looks, with coordinating bowler hats by Stephen Jones; the riot mix of print and embroidery; and womenswear techniques adapted for men, like a series of sheer-detailed macro-print coats cut on the bias.

One coat toggled between an exquisite embroidered floral motif and its opposite: a graphic print like an X-ray of the pockets and seaming hidden inside. It was followed by a passage of printed snail shells. Abandoning the tired narrative that used to structure a Galliano show opened up the possibility of a stronger, more purely visual statement. "I'm less interested in narrative," Gaytten said. "It's a little bit purer, less overstyled." The emphasis on image reminded you of what powerful ones it's in his power to create.

Gaytten acknowledged there's more of him in this collection than in the ones that preceded it. "There always was," he said, "but it was always to John's tune. I wanted to move it on a little bit." And, he added, "I've had a little bit more time to concentrate as well, for obvious reasons." A new era at Dior begins next week without him. But a new era at Galliano may have just begun here.