10 Questions with John Galliano Creative Director Bill Gaytten

The Fashionisto

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Published December 18, 2011

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Updated June 26, 2015

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With Paris Fashion Week near a month away, new John Galliano creative director Billy Gaytten preps his second collection for the house, but not before answering a couple of questions for those who wonder, but who is Gaytten?

Did you always want to work in Fashion?
No. I went to UCL, to study architecture, I just got distracted when I moved up to London.

Describe your sense of humour.
Dry, sarcastic, very English humour I suppose, well, you need one working in fashion.

What inspires you about fashion?
The construction – I started as a machinist and then worked with John on the patterns and the shapes that constructed the DNA of Galliano. I love working on the fittings, the cut, drape, line of the form. It’s the architect of the clothing.

Who was your fashion heroine?
I suppose Vivienne Westwood – she was so outrageous, she seemed so avant garde and really challenged fashion in the 70s, she was a real rebel and catalyst for many of us.

Paris, London, New York, Milan – where are you the happiest?
London will always be home, but Paris has such a finesse and artisans, I feel very inspired and welcome here.

What is your idea of a perfect lost weekend?
I used to love going out and partying but now my idea of heaven is very quiet and with a huge pile of books – I love reading, that to me is the ultimate escape and inspiration.

Do you enjoy being in the limelight?
Dresses are designed for the limelight not designers.

What advise would you give to young designers wanting to get into fashion?
Go for it! Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone put you off! Be open to meeting people, new ideas, new directions – I thought I was going to be an architect and look where I ended up! Have a sense of adventure and enjoy it!

What to you have been Galliano career highlights? Do you have favourite shows?
You get so involved in them all they blend into one huge show mixed with friends, memories, moments…Obviously my first collection for the house is special but as special as the next one we are working on today. Galliano is like a little sister I have watched grow, nurtured and shaped – I feel very protective over here and I like looking to the future and thinking where could she go next.

Who is the first person you call after a show?
My mum!


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