Thursday, July 14, 2011

Christian Dior, Haute Couture F/W 11.12 - now with video

PARIS, July 4, 2011
By Tim Blanks
You can't be down on a boy with a dream. For decades, Bill Gaytten strives under John Galliano's yoke as one of his most intimate facilitators, then suddenly fate conspires to throw him into the lead role, and he has the means to do everything he has ever wanted to do, everything he has ever bitten his tongue over. What's more, he has a team of the industry's best who have cherished him these long years for the adorable creature he is, and they are prepared to help him realize his dream: Stephen Jones with his headpieces, Jeremy Healy on beats, Michael Howells with his set design, Pat McGrath on makeup, Orlando Pita on hair. And they do this not just because they love Bill but because they want to acknowledge the achievements of his fallen master.

So what happens next?

On the evidence of today's first Dior couture show without John Galliano, what happens is a misjudged effort to impress an alien thumbprint on an aesthetic that, for better or worse, is one of the fashion industry's most clearly defined. After the show, a remarkably sanguine, even elated Gaytten was perfectly happy to celebrate the opportunity he'd been given to bring his own tastes to the fore, and they were significantly architectural: Frank Gehry, Jean-Michel Frank, the Memphis movement of the eighties. The opening outfit—a crazy-paving jacket with a ruffled collar and a full pleated skirt—kind of caught the postmodern madness of Memphis. And the subsequent parade of folded, tiered, unfinished taffeta, gazar, and organza had a similar assault-on-couture-orthodoxy vibe. There was a Bar jacket or two in the mix, acknowledging Dior's legacy, but the overriding sense was that a demon, long-contained, had been released, so that the Dior woman had suddenly been possessed by a disco dolly who, to the strains of Grace Jones, would blow out her hair and rampage to the nearest dance floor in a molto-bat-winged hostess gown that perfectly captured the campiness of cult-fave TV play Abigail's Party.
There were also echoes of one gloriously mad moment in Italian fashion when denim prophet Adriano Goldschmied produced clothes under a label he called Bobo Kaminsky, but that could hardly be considered a reference point for haute couture. The finale brought together black in a Napoleon hat, white in a crown of stars. There was one dress draped party-style in tinsel, another splattered with crystals. Then came Karlie Kloss, dressed as a Pierrot, sad clown all alone in the spotlight as the soundtrack failed and glitter showered down. But the stardust missed her by this much. And that felt like some kind of crazy cosmic metaphor.

So, once again, what happens next?

View the complete collection here.

Shu Pei Qin
Yulia Kharlapanova
Alla Kostromichova
Jourdan Dunn
Constance Jablonski
Frida Gustavsson
Alexander Tretter
Daria Strokous
Karlie Kloss
Susanna Venegas and Bill Gaytten
Tell me this was a live feed error, and these images are from Project Runway, the Losers Season. The only thing I have to say is "what a hot tranny mess".


  1. This is not bad. In comparison with Galliano's art this falls far from perfection. But It is still a good collection. The makeup is not superb but the gowns. Oh gorgeous layers, ruffles, colours. The drama, the passion. The personality! I love it. I think that Dior might have a slight chance without Galliano. But only slight.

  2. As a collection, I hate it. A few pieces might make for some interesting editorial shots, but the stylist and photographer are really going to have to work to get them to appear couture, and not amateur. Do you watch project runway? This reminds me of the challenge where they had to create a look out of $50 worth of supplies from a party supply store. I'm disappointed. I am having a hard time imagining a socialite dropping $100,000 on any of these.

  3. This is insane. Having seen all the shows now, this would have been the most exciting to watch, but... It's just insane. And I'm a bit irritated at the last dress worn by Daria Strokous. It totally references the most gorgeous dress from the Spring Couture collection (the yellow one with black feathery detail down one side of the BILLOWY skirt), but like he made it out of streamers and gift wrap. It's kind of amazing, but I prefer the Galliano version.

  4. I think Karlie killed the dress. She owned it. But at the same time this collection is falling. Everytime I look at it I feel sad and disappointed.

  5. Read the review. That helped. It makes sense if you think of someone who's had these crazy ideas for 20 years, and never had a chance to do them. This is his one chance to make all those insane looks he dreamed of. And yes, Karlie kills everything she wears.

    I think Dior should get a more conservative designer. Galliano changed Dior from a sophisticated line to a dramatic line, and maybe now it's time to go back to the spirit of Dior. I think Giambattista Valli would be a good replacement.

  6. The review did make me feel better but it was still sad.

  7. I've got a hankering to go to the circus after looking at this collection a few too many times. I want to see an elephant balance on a ball. Does that mean I was inspired by this? Or infected by it?

  8. Infected. I feel like eating a ton of candy and listening to Aqua all night. And playing with tissue paper.

  9. That is my favorite comment ever.


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