Bill Gaytten must surely have the most thankless job in fashion. It's one thing to be appointed at a notable fashion house where whoever's name is on the label is long gone, or even to succeed someone who's now moved elsewhere. But John Galliano the label was Galliano when he wasn't being Dior, and now that Galliano is back being very Galliano at Maison Margiela, what should his namesake label be? There's something to be said about just getting on with things and it is equally for Gaytten's sake as well as Galliano's heritage that something needs to change. Because, ignore what the invite said and look at last night's collection and you might see something very different. But there's a lot in a name.
Gaytten started by exploring Art Deco motifs and materials and he drew those into the here and now. A very much on-trend floor length coat over a sixties petal mini skirt and skinny rocker scarf opened the show. The shimmering swirling geometrical patterns and metallic jacquards never looked heavy. The gold lurex turtleneck layered under everything and the flat riding boots kept it youthful but not much so when it came to that purple and red - a one-sleeved (and what a sleeve!) pleated gown seemed to swallow the poor girl wearing it. And yet, there was something so out there and whimsical about the embroidered fish that suddenly appeared, that shows that Gaytten has a lot more to say. It's the tag on the clothes that's the issue.