We’ve seen back-to-nature looks before, but Bill Gaytten really goes all out with this spring/summer 2015 collection for John Galliano and at the same time he makes it very clear that Galliano is not here any more. Having been creative director for the label since 2011, Gaytten had moved surprisingly slow, partially on the uncertainty of whether or not the label’s namesake might return. He isn’t. So, Gaytten makes a bold move this season and gives the collection his very clear and different stamp.

Uhm, Bill, does lawn service come with this collection? I think I see some pieces that need mowing.

This is a very 3D, very tactile, very textured set of clothing. Want back to nature? Okay, let’s not be satisfied with prints, let’s actually work seaweed and bamboo into the fabric, let’s give leaves the ability to dance and sway in the breeze. Oops, perhaps that last dress could have used a little more stitching. Or water. More than a couple of leaves fell from the dress as it made its way down the catwalk. Those things happen, though. We’re not into production yet. I’m sure they’ll fix that detail.

Minus the fuzzy pieces, which I can’t recommend be left lying on the floor lest they sprout and begin growing, this is a very exciting collection. Nature loves contrast and there is plenty of it here. Coats are tailored, but jackets are boxy. Long column dresses, you know the kind that look a bit like trees? Yeah, those are done in, wait for it … tree bark lamè and no I’m not kidding. Frayed organdi-fauna is used on short dresses. Shoulders are dropped more often than not but then, there are these lovely little capelettes fastened with collections of feathers. He loves A-line dresses and fits their collars with wood veneer.

See, you don’t have to go to the forest with this collection, you’re practically wearing the forest!

Gayten makes use of a tremendous amount of iridescent fabrics, which have a distinctly modern and somewhat artificial look to them but he counters that with organza and textured silks that look especially nice on short shifts. He has been very careful to pair the right fabric with the right look so that one feels that the clothes are embracing nature. Even the shoes are stacked wooden wedges with green rubber soles.

It remains to be seen how the Galliano faithful will respond to all the changes Gaytten introduces in this collection. Without any question now, this is not the same John Galliano aesthetic it was before. A few things need to be tightened up here and there before the looks hit store shelves next spring, such as making sure the clothes aren’t molting, but this may well introduce a new popularity to the Galliano line.

Lawn mower and leaf rake not included.

Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier

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