Dior in Disarray

Yesterday marked the opening of the couture season with a Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Haute Couture show held at the Musee Rodin in Paris. The event was the first big show by Dior since the ugly departure of creative director John Galliano and was billed as a “team effort” between a number of designers, including studio assistant Bill Gaytten who arrived at Dior in 1999 with Mr. Galliano and is rumored to be under consideration for the creative director position which was already turned down by Azzedine Alaia. While many in the fashion world have applauded Dior for moving forward so aggressively despite being unable to fill the creative director slot the compliments end there. The pieces that hit the runway yesterday have since been roundly criticized for their lack of vision and lack of Dior’s signature polish.

The collection drew on modern architectural shapes as a primary reference but that did little to create a uniform feel between all the designs with the exception of some rather silly spheres and cubes turned headpieces. The collection was criticized by the Style section of the New York Times for it’s “tutti-frutti palette” and multiple reviews pointed out a number of clashing colors and patterns that served only to jolt or distract rather then grab interest. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the collection had the look of a line where management was involved in the design, a well known industry no-no.

While it makes sense that Dior would show even without the singular vision provided by a creative director, they do have to keep interest up for their other products such as fine jewelry after all, the show went a long way to proving that a fashion house needs a creative director as badly as any ship needs a captain. And unfortunately while Mr. Gaytten proved to be a very adept assistant he is no creative director.

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