Style :: Fashion

Galliano’s Spring 2012 Men’s Collection Makes "Big Splash"

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Tuesday Jul 19, 2011
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PARIS, France - With a sartorial presence as idiosyncratic as author Tom Wolfe’s white suits, the artist David Hockney served as a suggestive muse for John Galliano’s latest men’s collection, "Big Splash/Spring 2012," - which also happened to be the first collection shown without the house’s eponymous designer.

Just two days after Galliano was on trial in a Paris courtroom for his anti-Semitic rant, Bill Gaytten, Galliano’s new creative director, used Hockney’s 1967 painting, "A Bigger Splash" as a leitmotif for a sexy collection of dressing gowns, swimsuits, and underwear.


For more than twenty years, the British-born Gaytten (who has a degree in architecture) has worked alongside Galliano.

Gaytten’s first collection as creative director for Galliano was inspired by Hockney’s famous painting of a Los Angeles swimming pool - and a swimmer’s big splash.

Gaytten nodded to Hockney’s own signature style with a collection of round spectacles worn with bow ties and repp ties in preppy greens, blues, and pink.


Apart from the Summer of Love, 1967 was also the year in which the Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," with its Grammy-award winning cover art by Peter Blake of the band’s members in custom-made military-style outfits.

Gaytten’s Galliano collection included military jackets and frock coats splashed with red braiding, epaulets, and insignias.

The effect was less Michael Jackson/military dictator than it was Vegas theme casino - and yet credible as attire for a certain louche lifestyle.


In other words, London Pop culture is back - but then, really, has it ever left?


A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.

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