Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2012 Report: Christian Dior

01 October 2011

Everyone left the Christian Dior SS '12 show with the same lasting memory - Karlie Kloss's backside. Imprinted in our thoughts forever. Not to say that it was the only memorable thing about the collection, but in a flimsy transparent veil it undoubtedly closed the show.

For the past six months, talk about Dior has only been about who's next? Which big name designer will take up the reins of this luxury juggernaught? But spare a thought for the designer who is in the meantime responsible for turning out some clothes. Bill Gaytten worked with Galliano for twenty years, and, temporarily, the house is in his hands. His couture collection was widely panned by critics in July, which may explain the slight reserved feeling about the ready-to-wear. Don't get me wrong, the clothes were pretty, some beautiful and others exquisite, but Gaytten has pulled Dior back to basics. Tailoring? Check. Trapeze coats? Check. Enough evening gowns to dress the world's rich and fabulous? Check, check, check. But there was something a bit apologetic about it all. Although maybe it's just that for the first time in a long time the crowd has actually imagined themselves wearing Dior, as Galliano's interpretations were so theatrical, so over the top - I can't say I miss his 'acting' models (nothing worse by the way) - whereas Gaytten's Dior is about the clothes, not about outrageous make-up and styling. And I quite liked that.

It also means that whoever is to be announced as the new Creative Director has a blank canvas to work with, because Gaytten has proved to be the Dior palette cleanser and there's nothing wrong with that.

- Kay Barron in Paris


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