John Galliano and Francisco de Goya 2016

A year after John Galliano launched its new logo, its creative director, Bill Gaytten, kept with the transition of the brand becoming more contemporary. The change came not only after John Galliano himself was forced to leave his namesake label but as a response to financial troubles the label’s former manufacturer had as well.

With the adjustment, collections became more subdued. You could definitely describe the collections John Galliano was in charge of as being more theatrical. He is known for this, even wearing over the top pieces himself.

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John Galliano at his Fall 2011 menswear runway show (L) John Galliano at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in New York City, 2008 (R) 

Gaytten was no stranger to these extravagant pieces. He worked with the designer for 23 years. First just at John Galliano and then simultaneously at Dior. When Galliano took on Dior, Gaytten went with him and having to work without him was a shock. With the brand’s new beginning Gaytten didn’t go completely modern. He took inspiration from Francisco de Goya for his Fall 2016 collection and had some pieces looking quite vintage.

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A look from John Galliano’s Fall 2016 show

Goya is thought to be one of, if not the most important late 18th early 19th century artist. He did paintings, drawings, etchings, and frescoes and over the years created both light hearted and darker pieces. The Spanish artist was introduced to royal workshops in 1774 and worked with four ruling monarchies in Spain.

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Charles IV of Spain and His Family, 1801 by Francisco de Goya (Goya put himself in the background. He is the man on the left standing in front of a canvas)   

His work with royalty led him to be awarded the Royal Order of Spain in 1811 and it wasn’t until the second monarchy of Ferdinand VII that Goya had very few royal commissions. Ferdinand VII ruled briefly in 1808 until he was imprisoned by Napoleon. He then ruled again from 1813 until his death in 1833. While he was imprisoned Joseph Bonaparte, who was Napoleons brother, was appointed King. Goya pledged allegiance to Bonaparte and when Ferdinand VII ruled again he received less work. The king decided to hire another painter. This was at the end of Goya’s life and he continued to paint for himself. He created some of his most ominous pieces now known as the Black Paintings. They were done between 1820 and 1823. Gaytten didn’t make his fall collection dark though. Instead, you could see pieces in the collection being in portraits done by Goya.

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A look from John Galliano’s Fall 2016 show (L) Don Pedro, Duque de Osuna, c.1790s By Francisco de Goya (R) 

Military pieces were some of what was inspired by Goya and Gaytten said that an embroidered coat in particular was a nod to the artist. “A military motif is prominent throughout the collection, but there’s an equally strong femininity that crosses many periods in time, from 18th century through the 1930s. Overall, you will sense a romantic feeling anchored by strong tailoring,” said Gaytten. Bias-cut dresses helped bring out the femininity. Seen in John Galliano collections since spring/summer 1989, this silhouette is at the center of the brand. In the 1990’s bias-cut slip dresses were a prominent part of eveningwear and this collection was done at a time when they were coming back in style. Lace blouses and tulle dresses did their job of adding femininity to the collection as well.  

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A look from John Galliano’s Fall 2016 show (L) Portrait of marquise de Montehermoso, c. 1810 By Francisco de Goya (R) 

What came down the runway could be described as Edwardian. Pocket and necklace watches, newsboy hats, lace, coats and jackets pointed towards the era.

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A look from John Galliano’s Fall 2016 show (L) Sir Philip Sassoon, 1923 By John Singer Sargent (R)

One could almost say that the artist John Singer Sargent was more of an inspiration for the collection than Goya. Sargent was the Edwardian era’s most notable portrait painter.

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John Singer Sargent in his Paris Studio, 1885

Nevertheless, Francisco de Goya played his role in the collection and proved to be a great source of inspiration for Gaytten.

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A look from John Galliano’s Fall 2016 show (L) Victor Guye, 1810 By Francisco de Goya (R)