In Paris the first Dior Couture show without designer John Galliano was presented at the Rodin Museum to mostly negative, biting reviews. This was the first collection by studio director Bill Gaytten, a studio assistant who came to Dior in 1999 with John Galliano. Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of Dior and Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH were testing Mr. Gaytten for the role of creative director of Dior. They recently named Bill Gaytten the creative director of the Galliano brand.
John Galliano’s shoes are not easy to fill. Even with the the entire Galliano creative team in place – makeup artist Pat McGrath, hairstylist Orlando Pita, millner Steven Jones and Jeremy Healy on music this Dior Couture collection ‘failed to launch‘ according to many press reports including the New York Times. Watch the fashion video and read the press reviews.
Dior Couture Fall 2011 – The Critics Reviews:
One’s heart had to go out to studio director Bill Gaytten and first assistant Susanna Venegas, who took the postshow bow. While the latter’s appearance made for somewhat of a surprise, one rumor among many has had Gaytten, who last week formally succeeded John Galliano at the house of Galliano, a possibility to assume the creative helm at Dior as well. If a germ of truth ever existed there, this show likely squashed it. WWD
I like Mr. Gaytten. He’s a sweetheart, but he is not a designer.
The collection presented today, with modern architectural shapes as the reference (at least that explains the dumb cubes and balls embedded in the models’ hair), was a hodgepodge. I had the feeling that Mr. Gaytten, without providing much guidance, let the studio hands play with free-form shapes. There were multicolored jackets with full pleated skirts in contrasting squiggle patterns. The tutti-frutti palette, with jolts of turquoise, recalled the Memphis design movement. Other dresses in metallic silk, with overlapping squares, made you think of Frank Gehry’s buildings. That immaculate Dior polish was not evident. Some long flowing dresses in hand-painted silk looked contemporary enough, but for the most part the clothes looked like over-bright costumes.
From Tim Blanks, STYLE.COM
On the evidence of today’s first Dior couture show without John Galliano, what happens is a misjudged effort to impress an alien thumbprint on an aesthetic that, for better or worse, is one of the fashion industry’s most clearly defined.