Dior Fall 2011 Couture: A Haute Mess
Jul 05, 2011 - by Lester Brathwaite
Bill Gaytten, John Galliano's longtime assistant not only took over his former boss' namesake label but seems like he's also running Christian Dior for now. And if his Fall 2011 Haute Couture show is any indication, he's running it right into the ground. The first of many mistakes? Karlie Kloss not opening the show for what would have been like the 300th time.
The changing of the guard at any house is bound to cause some ripples -- a loss of both footing and vision -- and considering the immense talent Gaytten is following, it's understandable he would want to assert his own voice into the Dior lexicon.
Gaytten's voice was, however, lost in translation, producing one of the sloppiest and most incoherent couture shows I've seen in a while.
Granted, I'm observing, much like you, from my laptop thousands of miles away and thus the intricacies of the gowns are lost on me. Still, with haute couture, particularly with Dior Haute Couture, there's a brilliance that shines through in spite of the viewer's distance or technical knowledge.
No doubt the pieces were brilliantly and painstakingly constructed by one of the most, if not the most, talented atelier in the world, but without Galliano's influence there's no clear identifying vision.
Instead, there are garish colors thrown together rather haphazardly with even more garish prints; an abundance of overworked and unfinished taffeta, gazar and organza that just ended up looking messy; and a jarring lack of cohesion that only hinted at the Dior aesthetic without fully realizing it.
If not for the big budget and even bigger name behind it all, this show could easily be mistaken for a graduate show from FIT or, even worse, a Project Runway finale collection.
Though the Christian Dior aesthetic was lost on its own couture show, it was certainly found by Giambattista Valli.
In his couture debut, Valli presented a beautiful collection heavy on the drama and on Old Hollywood, two Galliano trademarks that Valli managed to make his own. Hopefully Sidney Toledano and Bernard Arnault, the head honchos at Dior and parent company LVMH respectively, were paying attention.
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