Article first published as Christian Dior: FW2012 on Blogcritics.
What is going on inside the Christian Dior’s directive remains a mystery, no one is really sure about it. But it has been a long time since John Galliano’s departure and for Bill Gaytten to be a temporary Creative Director. And after Jil Sander’s shake up, everybody is still wondering what is next for the french house. Asides from all that unnecessary drama inside one of the most legendary houses, Gaytten gave us once again a beautiful collection full of luxurious and safe pieces.
Bill Gaytten for Christian Dior was very… ‘Christian Dior’, another run of modern versions of the legendary “New Look” that made the couturier a household name and a part of fashion history. There was nothing new about it, just beautiful and glamourous pieces with a retro vibe worthy of the Hollywood golden age and its starlets, but with a John Galliano twist, making it very clear who is the real face behind the Contemporary Christian Dior. Every time a Christian Dior by Bill Gaytten collection is shown it is inevitable to see Galliano’s aesthetic as the heart of it, but with out that dazzling feeling of avant-guardism, spectacle, freshness and rebellious-luxury, the wow factor is certainly missing but the prettiness – thank god – is not. There were lavish and beautiful wrapped jackets and sweaters, wide skirts, flowy pleated dresses, fur coats, decadent embellishment, ethereal ensembles with hardcore hints of leather and the evening gowns were as luxurious, ravishing and alluring as usual, everything off course with cinched waists, the modern take on the 1947’s new look.
It was a beautiful and very salable collection full of magnificent and expensive pieces, but with everything that is going on behind closed doors it is difficult to take this as serious as it should be, especially knowing that all of this is part of a temporary solution, while they find a suitable replace for the brilliant Galliano. The brand is going through hard times, really tough times, because there have very big shoes to fill, and taking this as a ‘Mean-While’ collection is fine, but certainly not as a definitive one.
If they are auditioning Bill Gaytten for the most coveted job in fashion, after several collections he made it very clear that he is not going for the breath-taking-wow factor but the commercial-pretty-red-carpet-specialist one, which seems an appropriate choice if we are talking only about business, but if Galliano and his jaw-dropping collections were working, Why risk that? Why change that? The Theyskens to Copping switch was – sadly – necessary because of the low sales, and McQueen to Burton has worked because of her softer and more feminine but still ground breaking take on the avant-guard house, but is this what the Dior House needs? probably not, but only time will tell… In the end There is an important heritage to protect and everybody is – at least I am – anxious to see Galliano’s big come back in a big Britney-like moment, he needs to be seen as what he is and incredibly brilliant and talented designer who changed the course of fashion forever, and nothing more. We miss you John Galliano!!!
Photos by Giovanni Giannone