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Christian Dior: FW2012

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What is going on inside 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 Bill Gaytten’s appointment as a temporary Creative Director. And after Jil Sander’s shakeup, everybody is still wondering what is next for the French house. Aside 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,” with 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 glamorous 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 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 without 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, flowing pleated dresses, fur coats, decadent embellishment, and ethereal ensembles with hardcore hints of leather; the evening gowns were as luxurious, ravishing, and alluring as usual, everything of course with cinched waists, the modern take on 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 seriously as it should be taken, especially knowing that all of this is part of a temporary solution while they find a suitable replacement for the brilliant Galliano. The brand is going through hard times, really tough times, because there are very big shoes to fill, and taking this as a “meanwhile” 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 has made it very clear that he is not going for the breathtaking 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 such a change? 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 groundbreaking take on the avant-guard house, but is this what the Dior House needs? Probably not, though 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 comeback in a big Britney-like moment; he needs to be seen as what he is, an incredibly brilliant and talented designer who changed the course of fashion forever, and nothing more. We miss you John Galliano.

See the best looks from the runway here.

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About Jose Aponte

  • Prince Dmitri Yusupov-Luksiev

    Dior being safe with non-discript pastels maudling gray and black albeit some splashes of colour tooting 70 years in the past will only secure its financial where-with-all but Dior has no problem there even if they never had a collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Certainly with or without anyone manning the creative directive at Dior, Dior would still sell ‘Diorgenetics’ without any problem. Why Dior needs a magazine is a wonder but one might further wonder if it needs a designer at all and maybe that is why Bill Gaytten is still head assistant of the Dior Atelier. Tzaims Luksus, on the other hand might be doing himself a dis- service developing new extraordinary fabrics and couture designs for his exclusive Dior Collection of 40 pieces to be shown in the very near future but instead go onto his own label and leave Dior as Dior and continue Luksus as Luksus. Few Paris Fashion houses have living designers who established them. Instead Bernard Arnault are creating a “musical designer chair” game shuffling and jockying wannabe designers into prime houses that he owns and operates. Tzaims Luksus is too great a designer to take up a position at Dior since Luksus is like Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciage…a great designer and Tzaims has the advantage of still being alive and well. Arnault and Toledano certainly cannot be blamed for wanted desparately to have Tzaims Luksus head of design at Dior but wouldn’t it be wiser of Arnault to set Luksus up in his own house as he did Christian Lacroix? Certainly that would make more sense then for Luksus to show at Dior under Dior? When will Arnault wake up? Certainly he can draw attention to a Dior Paris Fashion Week collection turnout with movie stars showing up by the score and newspeople and photographers jamming the Rodin Museum tent but isn’t that an embarrassment of riches for Arnault to do? Wouldn’t it be a gentler and more civilized way to just set Tzaims Luksus up in his own beautiful house in Paris and cut all the proverbial crap?

  • Prince Dmitri Yusupov-Luksiev

    After reading the second page of Jose’s Dior comments I realize he believes that John Galliano was a great creator of fashion. I can agree that John Galliano make a ‘fashion statement’ but his was mixed with a variety of others with the same ‘mind-mix’and a surprise that the House of Dior would have him do two collections: one for Dior’s ‘regulars’ and one under his own label, which Arnault owns 99.9 percent of. Galliano is like Halston in that he too sold out his name, soul and label to the highest bidder: Bernard Arnault. There shouldn’t be any problem for John Galliano to continue under his own label and how he can wrench that out the tight fist of Arnault is another question for Galliano to face and due to the fact that he was born in Gibraltar and has a double surname he could create a new label, open his house in Madrid and bypass Arnault and his own label all together. Why he isn’t doing that is a mystery for certainly he will never be re-admitted to Dior’s group and the John Galliano label is in total limbo and even if Arnault finds a designer to design under John Galliano then, well, John can change his name (everyone will know who he is under it) to “Juan di Madrid”. Why John Galliano is licking his own self inflicted wounds doesn’t make sense after all this time has passed. Remember how great everyone though Gianni Versace was and he was murdered and his sister Donatella just took over as though Gianni just became a saint or devil in one of two places. John (Juan) Gaudianano (might be good for a name) can just go on with the millions of pesetas he must have in a Swiss bank and forget Dior.

  • Prince Dmitri Yusupov-Luksiev

    for real Haute Couture (peek at the sleeve & cuffs) Paris Fashion Week 2012 and not Dior 1940-1950.

  • Prince Vladimir Yusupov-Luksiev

    See my FaceBook profile for TZAIMS LUKSUS Paris 2012.

  • Prince Vladimir Yusupov-Luksiev

    My Facebook profile can be found by searching: Vladimir Luksiev.

  • Prince Vladimir Yusupov-Luksiev

    Dior made its mistakes with Bernard Arnauld and Sidney Toledano at the helm…so be it! DIOR is past history and Rafe Simmons is the least of its success. Keep selling Dior watches, Dior knock off jewelry, Dior hand bagdads and Dior porno thongs/condoms in Asia.
    Prince Vladimir Yusupov-Luksiev

  • Prince Vladimir Yusupov-Luksiev

    Raf Simons in Paris at Dior puts TWERP in AnTWERP. His archival vision of what Christian Dior was all about in 19..whatever 40s is history so doing this absolute disaster of a collection he just did is so stupid even the international press (paid heavily by LVMH for a good review) were left looking like they had been punched in the face…what a disgusting display of the most stupid outfits…and outfits..being out and not fit…they were and so what was it all about…more flowers on the wall than on the runway…in fact it was more Dior/bernard Arnault/a/k/a/LVHM putting FUN in FUNERAL…DIOR’S FUNERAL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS FINALLY A REQUIEM of flowers on the walls. GOD FORBID THAT WE HAD TO SIT THROUGH THAT FIASCO AND FORTUNATELY NO ONE OF THE 100 MOST WEALTHIEST WOMEN IN THE WORLD WILL WALK DOWN THE STREET OR GO TO A CLUB WEARING THOSE CHEAP NUMBERS …worthy of a 1940 Drag Queen.

  • Prince Vladimir Yusupov-Luksiev

    The New York Times Fashion Editors masterbated and shot their loads in their hands with their favorable report on Raf Simons antique Dior Collection…of course non of those editors/writers will ever wear a Dior…unless they get paid writing good reviews and not get banned from future disastrous shows…what is the point? Seeing? Believing? Knowing? Understanding? Getting? Getting what..? Nada! Raf Simons/cum/Dior…worthless/nothing/stupid…but who actually cares? Hellow…ayone out there? Non? Non!

  • bluemlein

    The reference to 1947 has had to be shaved down to near-nothingness because today’s models would keel over into comas if they had to walk around with fifteen pounds of wool fabric tied around their waists. My mother had a New Look gown that she carried off with great style despite being five foot two and eyes of blue . . . ice. She would roll them – if she were here – and cough politely at the mention of Luxurious? Safe? Pretty? what is this supposed to be? Sounds more like PTA meeting in a chic downtown upper-middle-class area than PARIS and COUTURE. Seems everyone – almost – has forgotten what that means.