Everyone loves a good Hollywood story of success, failure, redemption and love. In Paris, the city of love, a Hollywood story has been brewing for over a year. Starting with the dismissal of John Galliano from his long-held position as creative director of Dior, and followed by a near catastrophic show last season by his right-hand man Bill Gaytten. Still, Dior’s future remains uncertain. A year later, the storied French couture house has yet to be redeemed, officially name a Galliano successor, or create another fantasy Couture collection…until now.
As one of the first shows of the Couture Spring 2012 collections, Gaytten looked to the past to salvage his reputation and prove that he was worthy of the top spot at Dior. Doing away with Galliano’s fantasy-filled and sometimes ridiculous creations, and leaving behind his own circus-themed Fall 2011 Couture collection, Gaytten has infused the fashion arena with ladylike garments, expert tailoring and attention to detail not seen since the silent film era.
Gaytten’s original misstep in his Fall 2011 show (shown above) was trying to replicate Galliano’s genius and eccentricities and not staying true to his own aesthetics. To aid him along in his newest collection he revisited the Dior archives and re-created a different Dior fantasy for the editors and celebrities who sat front row at his 9 a.m. show. The result was a sophisticated, sexy, modern exploration of audacity through bias cuts, tulle and ombre—a long way from the loud clashing colors, cheese hats and near-deadly use of polka-dots that dominated his Fall 2011 show.
Instead of leaving critics depressed and uninspired, Gaytten proved that he had learned a lot at Dior over the past 16 years. He managed not only to inspire and excite his audience, critics and fans with his latest collection, but also to draw rave reviews and a sigh of relief from the fashion fans who feared that Dior, as we knew it, was dead.
So is this Dior’s happy ending? Perhaps the powers that be at LVMH, Dior’s parent company, will realize Gaytten’s vision for the company, and give him another season to fully prove himself. Or will they keep feverishly looking for Galliano’s ‘official’ replacement? Only time will tell, but this story may have a few more twists before we draw the curtain.
It’s your move Karl, show us what you’ve got.