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“It was a funny moment for me.”

That’s how Gaytten described taking to the catwalk for the bow that thrust him from the shadows into the limelight.

“It was the first time _ normally it was John _ so it was a bit scary,” the label’s new creative director told reporters in a backstage interview closely monitored by the label’s press handlers, who banned any questions on the touchy subject of Galliano himself.

The rigorous weeding out of journalists’ questions was part of the house’s evident strategy to make the transition as smooth as possible. Friday’s show had all the telltale marks of a classic Galliano display, from the way the seating was arranged down to the language of the collection notes, to the way the models clomped angrily down the runway.

Like shows under Galliano himself, the display was divided into four sections _ streetwear, business attire, intimates and eveningwear _ all linked together by an overarching narrative.

Swinging ‘60s London was the theme of Friday’s collection, with models in the first section sporting military jackets with drop-crotched silk pants and leather caps. Though the clothes and the styling evoked Galliano, they felt like a meek and timid version of the designer _ pared down and de-clawed.

Despite the stomping models, the earsplitting soundtrack and the set made from wildly blinking lights, the show lacked the energy of a Galliano display of old. Somehow, though the ingredients were the same, something just didn’t coalesce, and the whole thing fell a bit flat.


Just how many variations are there on the jacket? YSL designer Stefano Pilati served up dozens of fetching, fashion-forward iterations on the menswear staple.

Pilati has garnered a mixed critical response in seasons past, but Friday’s tour de force collection proved for once and for all that the Italian designer is among the most impeccable tailors in the business.

The selection of jackets was nothing short of mouthwatering: Single-button, two-button, double-breasted, cropped, safari or tuxedo, they sprouted pocket flaps, razor-sharp pleats, hidden paneling and even sexy lacing. It was a testament to Pilati’s skills that despite all the embellishment, the jackets exuded an easy, classic elegance.

These were looks that had the show’s VIP guests _ including Kanye West, Michael Stipe and Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade, who sported white leather YSL high-tops _ drooling.

The jackets, in khaki, bone white and a dusty blue, were paired with culottes which, cinched high at the waist and flared through the thigh, were a hair less convincing.


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