Designer Bill Gaytten worked alongside John Galliano for about 20 years before Galliano exited the house he founded. For the past five years, he has been quietly keeping things moving forward in difficult times. For Fall he’s offered up several pieces that make taking a closer look at the label worthwhile.
As it happens, of late Gaytten has become fascinated with war documentaries, particularly ones that recount how demobilized soldiers began returning to a normal life. “It’s quite touching to watch as they tried to go about getting back to normal, finding a job, getting dressed,” the designer noted during a recent showroom visit. He also looked at Cecil Beaton’s photographs of war-torn London. The military, “demob” (as the return to civilian life was known), and Winston Churchill’s penchant for pin-striped suits became the inspirations for a collection that avoided taking elements like camouflage and stripes too literally.
In fact, there wasn’t a single pinstripe suit in the bunch. Instead, wider black and white stripes appeared on sportswear like cargo pants and a roomy turtleneck sweater. A khaki theme included a suit embroidered with a silver-and-anise rose on the jacket and trousers. Still, most pieces were more understated, such as a weekend coat with a drawstring waist, a rethought camouflage print in a silver and gray jacquard, and a soft shearling bomber (plus variations on that look for those who prefer to stick with wearing shearling on the inside). Elsewhere, a navy trench worked well when paired with a turtleneck sweater in military orange.
In sum, while this Fall collection included just enough statement pieces for showman types—the slope-shouldered oversize leather jacket with check trim comes to mind—there was plenty else to choose from for men who like to keep it simpler without sacrificing style