Drab Dior show gets tongues wagging
Dior remained tight-lipped on Friday about the search to replace John Galliano despite the growing clamour of critics who dismissed the French fashion label's second show since it fired its chief designer as a programmatic repeat of past styles.
Dior has now been without a chief designer for half a year since it fired Galliano after he was caught on a video that was widely circulated on the internet making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris bar.
"Patience," Dior Chief Executive and Chairman Sidney Toledano told Reuters after the show. "You will understand when the announcement is made. The timing is right. Those who know - don't talk and those who talk, do not know."
The rumour mill has been in overdrive during Paris Fashion Week with endless talk of who could replace Galliano after media reports indicated that negotiations with early favourite Marc Jacobs were not going well.
Other names in the frame include Alexander Wang, but fashion critics say the designer's urban and masculine style might not be right for couture.
Women's Wear Daily published a story this week quoting Toledano saying the announcement was "weeks away."
If Dior's couture collection - its first without Galliano - was panned by critics in July, its spring/summer collection was received with little applause from critics and buyers even though it remained faithful to the label's traditional codes.
"It was not very creative," said Alexandra Golovanoff who hosts a fashion TV show on Paris Premiere channel. "It was like waiting music, you know the kind of music you hear on the phone while you are waiting for your call to be transferred."
Dior's new collection, designed by Bill Gaytten, Galliano's former right-hand man, included pastel coloured flowing organza dresses, tight at the waist and open in the back.
The presentation also featured variations of Christian Dior's famous bustier tops and close-fitting Bar jacket but in ochre, soft beige and some bright orange colours.
"This (collection) is based on earlier Dior collections," Gaytten told Reuters after the show. It includes the "Dior codes, soft necklines, no shoulder pads, the Bar jacket but with a wider sleeve, slightly higher waist and a little bit less volume."
The show was not attended by LVMH Chief Executive and founder Bernard Arnault, who usually sits in the front row and it also lacked its usual spray of celebrities. One of the only high-profile guests included actor Orlando Bloom who was there to support his wife, model Miranda Kerr, who was taking part on the catwalk.
"I am not usually at fashion shows," he told Reuters.