Frills but no thrills: Gaytten plays safe with Dior collection

Galliano's heir apparent has played it cool yet again. Can he ever be more than just a safe pair of hands?

It is just over a year since John Galliano was dismissed from his post as creative director of Christian Dior. Since that time Bill Gaytten, who worked with him for more than 20 years, has presided over two haute couture seasons and, yesterday in Paris, the designer showed his third ready-to-wear collection for the house.

"A soft modernity runs through the Dior fall/winter 2012 collection," read the show notes. Minimal hair and make-up aside, there was in fact little contemporary about the procession of drop-shouldered jackets nipped at the waist with wide leather belts, full, knife-pleated skirts that fell to mid-calf, leather-trimmed fur coats and billowing chiffon eveningwear on display here.

It is true that Gaytten nodded to a muted autumn colour palette and to a certain austerity that has been seen on some runways this season but that is not what is expected of Dior, a name synonymous with nostalgia and romance. More recently, of course, Galliano introduced sex to the equation and that too was conspicuous by it absence.

Instead, here, arguably, were the sort of clothes the more conservative fashion follower might like to buy but there was little to tempt her more radical younger sister into the fold. More importantly, it is the job of names like this one to make dreams as well as dresses and it is off the back of the former that money-spinning accessories, fragrance and make-up sell. With that in mind, and for all his efforts, not to mention use of the house's signatures – in particular the hound's tooth check, the tailoring borrowed from menswear and the New Look line – this show fell flat.

Although Gaytten has been officially appointed Galliano's successor at his signature line, which will be shown in Paris tomorrow, his position at Dior has yet to be confirmed. Instead rumours continue.

Last week Raf Simons was reported to be taking the creative helm following his recent departure from Jil Sander. Over the summer, meanwhile, it is believed that the powers that be at Dior were in talks with Marc Jacobs. These reached an impasse, insiders say, due to the American designer's excessive contractual demands.

Whatever happens Gaytten has demonstrated an extremely cool and competent head throughout this furore and, perhaps partly for that reason, is still very much part of the picture. He may not be the most inspired choice but, in the short term at least, is clearly considered a safe pair of hands.

In the meantime, Dior will only benefit from any speculation: for the past year the famous French name has been more newsworthy than ever if not always for the right reasons.

Suggested Topics
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing