The Dior Clown Show

Galliano is gone. It's sad. People who loved his romantic vision for Dior now have to deal with the fact that it is gone and never coming back. It's kinda like if you have a favourite restaurant and suddenly it's under new management with a new menu. Same name, completely different experience. And people hate change.

I fell in love with Galliano's work in the early 2000's when he started doing epic overblown collections. The trailer trash collection, the Peking opera collection or the rave collection with the ghetto blaster handbags. These are the collections that made such a huge impression on me. Of course it got to a point where the dresses were pouring out onto the runway like fashion slime, the models trudging along with hyper real cartoon drag queen kabuki makeup before it had to change. So for the past few years the collections have become less dramatic in every sense. The silhouettes were roped in, the make up was tamed and the clothes less experimental. And that's when things got boring. At the end of each collection Galliano would talk about the house heritage, the bar jacket blah blah blah. The clothes looked like they belonged in the archives from the 40's and 50's. I have a feeling that this wasn't entirely Galliano's choice and that executives wanted to reposition the brand from wild French bitch to demure mademoiselle. 
Since Galliano's departure, Dior executives have said they'll take as long as they need to before choosing the new head designer. So in the mean time they've got studio director Bill Gaytten and first assistant Susanna Venegas filling in. 
According to Gaytten he wanted to do something more modern which begs the question why look back at past collections to achieve this? The only thing that I could pin to his statement was perhaps the fact that the inspiration for the collection was architecture. To my memory (and correct me if I'm wrong) Galliano never chose architecture as a theme or inspiration for a collection. He was always inspired by culture, native costumes, noted figures, uniforms. Architecture? Not that I can recall. 


Early 2000's

This is from Spring 2008. I know right? 

The collection wasn't terrible but I didn't find it cohesive. That's what got me the most. The first 18 looks were like early 00's Dior. I think Cathy Horyn from the New York Times described the hats as dumb but I liked them. There were pastel colours and stripes inspired by the Memphis movement of the 80's. They were fun and mostly cool. But then the collection changed into the Florida queen movement of the 60's. And I don't mean that in a Project Runway kinda comment, you know, like whoa what a hot mess. No, the models really looked like queens. 


So after the ladies sauntered out, worked the pole and took some front row guests to the champagne room for a private dance the show ended with a series of big, overblown gowns that lacked finesse. They looked lumpy and ill-fitting. 

I don't get it. Maybe Mr Gaytten has drug problems too? 

I think I read on someone's blog (I can't remember. Maybe it was a comment on someones blog?) that perhaps people were expecting a miracle like Sarah Burton at McQueen but it didn't materialize. I think that execs played a heavy hand in this collection. I have a feeling they told Gaytten to make the collection fun and light-hearted. If they didn't and this was all his own doing then surely it will also be his unravelling. 


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