Saturday, January 19, 2013

BEAUTY: Clothing--John Galliano

It was just announced that John Galliano, after being caught on film making racist remarks about Jews and the Holocaust and after being fired from Dior and forced to leave his own company and after being fined by the French government and after spending two years in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse (...whew), is beginning to travel the road back to the fashion industry. Oscar de la Renta has given Galliano space at his Manhattan office to work for the next three weeks. Supposedly brokered by Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, who is a friend of both designers, this three week period is hardly enough time to accomplish anything but enough to get his feet wet and more importantly, begin to rebuild his disgraced reputation.

Since Galliano's departure from his own label, Bill Gaytten (Galliano's right hand man for twenty three years, much like Sarah Burton and McQueen) has designed the men's and women's collections and has done a pretty good job of it. The "Galliano theatricality" has been toned down a bit but the imagination is still there. There have been some interesting collections but I must confess to missing the "Galliano theatricality"--we live in a world that benefits and brightens from such wild and reckless creativity.

So when Gaytten showed his '13-'14 Fall-Winter collection at Paris Fashion Week, I was a tad underwhelmed...oh, lots of browns and squiggly patterns thought I, rather rashly. I had all but decided not to post anything about this particular collection but something held me, and as I studied the photos more closely, that something coalesced. I got hooked..

Inspired by German Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys (considered one of the most influential artists of the second half of the twentieth century), the collection features hats and lots of them. In case you are not familiar with Beuys, he was known for wearing a felt fedora or trilby hat and here, Gaytten takes the shape of those hats and inflates the crown to a ridiculous degree (the hats actually remind me of Westwood's Peruvian/hobo hat from her seminal 1982 "Nostalgia of Mud" collection, lo these many years ago). But Gaytten does not stop there. He continues with a slouchy, rumpled silhouette also inspired by Beuys. Pieces of recycled men's wear are covered with charcoal drawings, reminiscent of Beuys' work on paper. But two lovely touches that stand alone are neon brogues (love those!) and shirts whose elongated collars turn into trailing scarves--even the satin shawl collar on a tuxedo was stretched and became an accessory.

And now, here is the real Joseph Beuys:
Photos via

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