Video: Bill Gaytten Attempts to Take Up Where Galliano Left Off at Dior Couture Show in Paris, Misses the Mark

Posted on July 6, 2011

Here are some snippets of the first Christian Dior couture show without John Galliano. Designer Bill Gaytten sent his collection down the runway on July 4th at the Musee Rodin in Paris. Gaytten hit many of the themes that Galliano has shown in the past, but the overall effect was a bit disjointed. It lacked cohesion and a central theme.

There was a lot of color and geometric shapes that doubled as hats in the first section, which featured New Look style, giant pailletes (loved those), Marge Simpson hair and clown makeup. The endless parade of pieced-together, patchwork tulle skirts just seemed sloppy and tired. The giant coffee filter adornments made out of silk attached to skirts should have been left in the workroom.

The next section of the show featured lots of 70s-style flowing caftans and big hair: it was like being at a different show altogether. The third section had cocktail outfits and ballgowns (with more coffee filter decorations on the skirts and bodices). Karlie Kloss as Pierrot closed the show. The tailoring was good -- and there were some lovely individual pieces -- but the overall effect was chaotic.

Gaytten, who was Galliano's assistant for 23 years, has said that he wants the top designer's job now that Dior has made it clear it will not rehire Galliano. But we're not sure that's the way Dior will go after seeing this collection. It's unclear how much of Gaytten's vision was in the design: certainly the execution was there.

It seems clear he has his own ideas of where Dior needs to go and it's somewhere other than where Galliano went. But is it where Dior's customers want to go? We're reminded of when Alexander McQueen died and his assistant Sarah Burton put on her first solo show for the label. It was a triumph. That did not happen here. Take a look:

You can see the full show at Dior.