Disappointing Haute Couture collection at DIOR without Galliano

The much anticipated Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012 collection was presented on Monday at the Rodin Museum in Paris, the first in 15 years without the signature of John Galliano, who had been fired early this year over a scandal involving antisemitic remarks.

The collection signed by British designer Bill Gaytten, who used to work with Galliano. Much of the collection has gathered negative reviews from fashion critics as well as clients.

WWD: ”This was not about an in-house designer or designing partners attempting can-do reinvention. Rather, it telegraphed interim status, and in haute couture, interim doesn’t work….There were Galliano shapes, Galliano Dior winks even Dior Galliano audacity. What there was not: the Galliano Dior mastery that transported so much of his work, including some of his safest collections, to a land of rare beauty”. 

IHT: ”Fantasy is a delicate and personal vision. The grave mistake of Bill Gaytten, 51, who led the team to create this collection, was not to rely on his forte during 23 years with Mr. Galliano as an exceptionally skilled tailor and pattern cutter. Those were the elements that came into focus in the Galliano spring/summer 2012 men’s show two weeks ago. Although it might take technical prowess to turn a skirt into a sensuous, heaving mass of petals like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, the body was never really center stage in this whorl of floral delight.” Suzy Menkes

The Australian: ” On a more pragmatic level, where were the tailored jackets and skirts that are the commercial backbone of Dior’s collections? Or, come to that, any winter clothes? It gets cold in Moscow. But perhaps the Russians, once diehard Dior groupies, have already lost interest now that the front row is filled with earnest looking journalists rather than J-Lo. In some ways the misfire is surprising. The Dior seamstresses and tailors are among the best in the world and like Bill Gaytten, who is now head of the Dior studio, worked with Galliano for years. But unlike when Alexander McQueen’s protegee Sarah Burton took over after his death last year, the transition is anything but seamless.”

The New York Times: ”Things must be very strange these days at the House of Dior, judging by the haute couture show we saw this afternoon at the Musée Rodin. All sorts of weird vibes, along with a lack of design leadership, have a way of surfacing in clothes. A runway is like a shrink’s couch; stuff just comes out. For some reason I had the idea that this collection would be an interim deal until Dior could hire a successor to John Galliano. Not having a show would have been unthinkable because the Dior machinery has other products, like fine jewelry, to keep promoting, and the hoopla of a couture show, small or not, is a good way to keep distracted people at least little interested.” Cathy Horyn