the demise of dior

by Jeremy Danté

a piece of french fashion history & what seemed to be an unstoppable force of design; the house of christian dior is one of international recognition & in the past few months; changes, speculation & chaos have seemed to ensue the house following the termination of creative director, john galliano. while the headlines surrounding dior have seemed to shine brighter than what was presented on the runway; a very interesting take on haute couture was seen yesterday in paris. in the absence of galliano as creative director, dior’s atelier have been desiging & creating the collections independently. while much of the concepts seen during the FW12 show season were already in progress at the time of galliano’s dismissal, this FW11 couture collection that was seen, just yesterday, is the first collection to be presented in the absence of any real creative leadership.

visibly affected in the absence of a leader, the collection posessed an air of sloppy execution & utter confusion, appearing as a mash up of designs we’ve seen from the label in the past. like a circus, the collection hosted a mad house of a concepts with a perplexing palette & noted is the fact that john galliano is no capacity involved with what was created. while i do admit that the collections presented by galliano during his final collections at dior were getting a  bit redundant; the clothes, the designs were always beautiful. much of galliano’s design work at dior was like art; referencing dior archives & modernizing aspects of the past, allowing the house to remain atop it’s own level of consistency, through ready-to-wear & haute couture. that era is finished & the fashion kids are talking, loudly. in terms of style, i couldn’t understand where the collection was going, nor did i understand the intention of the visual that was being translated. in discussing what would result in galliano’s termination, i worried something like this would happen. admittedly, i thought to myself, “the house is too big not to have something put into place, this is dior we’re talking about”. the fashion kids gawked at this FW11 couture collection, some laughed in disbelief while others began to re-evaluate the decesion to remove galliano- never a good look for couture season. in season’s past, the house of dior lead the way for couture, raising the bar consistently every season- presenting more & more beautiful things on the runway; not even just limited to couture. with campaigns to match, the baddest girls opened & closed the show while booking the campaign- it was all vivid sophistication lead by john galliano. clearly, in his absence the label will suffer.

while LVMH, which owns dior, has publicly expressed that they would fill the position when they were ready; im feeling that better be quick. john galliano’s reign as creative director was heavily influenced by anna wintour & at dior he did amazing things from july 1995 up until february 25th of this year- when he was dismissed on counts of racist behavior. literally, every news source is now documenting how dior is loosing it’s way without galliano at the helm & one has to wonder who is really having the last laugh. while murmurs of conspiracy have been faintly heard from different corners of the world, considering that galliano was making six figures a year while at dior- im beginning to wonder how much longer this downward spiral will persist. rumors have swirled the fashion blogosphere for months, some speculating that givenchy’s riccardo tisci would head up dior, some industry heads have even gone so far as to confirm it. this one shift, if even just to fill the space at dior, would create a landslide in fashion; leaving a large gap at givenchy, which is one of the most powerful fashion houses today. from court cases to bad design concepts, it’s hard to imagine that things at dior will get better before the SS12 womenswear show season, which is only a few months away. but one this is certain, this transition the label is trying to head up themselves is not working. aspects of the recent couture collection seem to unconvincingly mimick the aesthetic put into place by john galliano, but the effect & execution just aren’t the same. one has to wonder what is happening behind the scenes, whether people are scrambling is quite clear in the clothes- the designs are being affected greatly. with campaigns, castings & shows cycling in & out, endlessly throughout the year, if this is an indication of dior’s future, the house could suffer a tarnished legacy.