You can take a Brit abroad but you can’t take the Brit out of them once there. Stuart Vevers continued with his youthful reinvention of Coach – the traditional American brand at which he was installed as executive creative director last year – with his spring/summer 2015 collection. A collaboration with Californian artist Gary Baseman to make fun little creatures was testament to that as were his choices of Americana to plunder: sub-cultures, skate and surf (ever the popular right now) combined with the spirit of New York. He said it was a celebration of “beautiful oddness” and that’s where that brilliant and irreverent Brit wit stepped in for an overhaul that won’t necessarily strike a chord with a traditional Coach customer of seasons past but will put it right in front of the noses of a new generation who won’t be able to get enough of these characterful and cool pieces: shaggy, pastel jackets; critter-knits; satchels and clogs; and long lean flare silhouettes and short sharp miniskirts.
With his new collection for John Galliano, Bill Gaytten was inspired by all the things he could do with jacquard. The patterns and textures made him think of the artisanal and the organic, which—in that leap of faith you must take at face value with creative types—took him deep into the jungle: Bamboo prints, wood-veneer-trimmed basket weaves, patterns of scarification, and vivid applications of iridescent plastic leaves window-dressed the theme. Silhouettes were mostly high-waisted, layered or pleated, short—a little on the schoolgirl side. Boxy, cropped jackets, half-belted high in the back, compounded that effect. When hems went floorward, there were floaty mousselines and organzas in vivid jungle greens. Everything was shown with blocky platform clogs.
Give Gaytten this much: He has the courage of his unwavering convictions. From the first look (a faux-gorilla cropped jacket made of silk organza tubes arduously applied one at a time) to the last (exactly the same piece, in lime green), he stuck to his guns. To give this peculiar exercise its most positive spin in the light of recent Galliano outings, you might conclude that Gaytten has decided a cartoon-ish, manga-ish path is the best route to the future. Down that road there maybe lies a client for these clothes.