05 July 2011

Dior boss won’t appoint a designer until he ‘finds the right man’

Sidney Toledano, chief executive of Christian Dior

Ahead of the Dior couture show yesterday, the chief executive, Sidney Toledano gave no clues whatsoever as to the plans to replace John Galliano as creative director of the scandal-hit fashion house with a new designer. The rumour mill, previously favouring Givenchy head, Riccardo Tisci, will have been thrown another scrap by the fact that Galliano’s former assistant and now creative director of his eponymous label, Bill Gaytten, took the bow at the finale of the Dior haute couture show. The mixed response to the show by the assembled fashion editors means nothing is certain however.

In actual fact, no one seems to know what will happen next at the fashion house. M. Toledano told reporters that there is no rush to appoint a replacement, saying ‘You know when you ask young girls all the time when they are going to get married, they reply: When I find the right man,’ - Is this a clue to reporters, hinting they should rule out any bets on Sarah Burton of McQueen or Phoebe Philo of Celine? We think it’s more likely to be a figure of speech than a vow to avoid a female designer.  

After Galliano’s shock departure - he stood trial for "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity"  which is a very serious crime in France, but will not receive the verdict until September 8th, the global corporation that is Dior carried on without cancelling a single show. So far, last season’s Dior and Galliano shows, then pre-collections, menswear and yesterday haute couture have all gone ahead without the guidance of one particular creative director.

Apparently, Azzedine Alaia, who is making a come-back with his own label at Paris couture week, was contacted vis a vis the top job, which he turned down. No one else has spoken on the record to say they have been approached or not. The plot thickens . . .

- Naomi Attwood


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