On Monday, the house of Christian Dior presented its first haute couture collection without John Galliano. We all know why. At this point, even dogs know it, so I won't go into it.
Names for an illustrious replacement have been tossed around. But for now, the house is dealing with the situation as Alexander McQueen did with Sarah Burton and have promoted the second in command to the lead designer role. Bill Gaytten got to do what he wanted for Dior this time out. I suspect he was behind the previous few collections as well, under Galliano's direction or creating in the style of to make it appear so. Who knows. Fashion is a glorious illusion in all kinds of ways.
At first glance of the opening looks, there's no doubt which brand this collection represents. The sharply feminine Dior silhouette that celebrates the tiny waist with those full flirty skirts is alive and well, but that seems to be a ploy to ease us in before things take an unfamilar turn. It's clear someone is trying out a new vision.
Style.com's Tim Blanks identifies three architectural influences, two of which I can plainly see as they're quite literal:
And I'm guessing as to where Jean-Michel Frank figures in, is it within the texture as opposed to structure?
And here's where things boomeranged in a new direction before returning to quintessential Dior style in a finale of those voluminous ball gowns (above). I think an entire collection like this (below) would have resulted in even sourer faces in the seats.
Then things went pear-shaped. Tim Blanks described the most awkward conclusion to the show:
"Then came Karlie Kloss, dressed as a Pierrot, sad clown all alone in the spotlight as the soundtrack failed and glitter showered down. But the stardust missed her by this much. And that felt like some kind of crazy cosmic metaphor."
Was this spectacle meant to be a replacement for, or distraction from, Galliano's famous end of show bow? Surely. And it may have worked, if it worked!
Seems a certain ghost is having a play at Dior.
Photos from Style.com