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Paris Menswear: The Case Of The Double Gallianos


Last week in Milan, John Galliano made a splash with a slightly unhinged party that launched his second line of menswear, a distillation of all the rakish, rebel elements that characterize his main collection for men. It was so true to the spirit of its parent that there were plenty of industry folk who wondered how Galliano could keep the two lines separate enough in the eyes of stores and customers to justify their co-existence. Well, wonder no more. If price is a key factor in the second line (called, simply, “Galliano”), the designer made it crystal-clear that his main line will always be about money-no-object creativity. His new collection took Sherlock Holmes as its starting point. Wise move, because it meant the opening passage was all about tailoring, and no one doubts Galliano’s genius in that department, especially when it involves the period flavour of high-buttoning, double-breasted pinstripes. (You want a suit? This is the traditional quintessence of the notion.) Then the designer popped open the Sherlock Holmes case-book for a look at the detective’s criminal competition, which was really just an excuse for a parade of Galliano’s signature exotics. Some were wearing highly styled versions of his under- and swim-wear, others were swathed in spectacular silk lounging wear (with trailing Fu Manchu pigtails). Does it bear repeating one more time that there were attractive wearable items of clothing embedded in this entertaining, distracting mise-en-scene? What really came across was that everything looked expensive which, at the very least, makes for a significant point of departure from the new secondary line.

Photo: Andrew Thomas

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