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Christian Dior shows haute couture collection sans John Galliano


July 6, 2011/9.01

Christian Dior autumn 2011 couture

Christian Dior’s autumn–winter 2011–12 haute couture show lends a bit of playful relief, following the house’s recent fiasco regarding the sacking of its former creative director John Galliano. Bill Gaytten, accompanied by his assistant Susanna Venegas, has stepped up to the challenge to be considered as the new creative director and on July 4, presented his first couture collection.
   Although each piece is beautiful in its own right, at times it is like looking at three, sometimes even four, separate collections. As if Gaytten’s ideas ran away with him and got lost in translation. With no apparent theme or stable reference points, the show lacks fluidity, which would be achievable through a greater attempt at editing. It all results in a sense that everything which had been dreamed up over the past 23 years while under Galliano’s reign has now been let loose.
   The first few outfits consist of voluminous skirts and layered, folded and unfinished silk organza and taffeta pieces, resembling pastel coloured taffy, while paying respect to Dior’s signature Bar jacket silhouette. After that, each outfit gradually morphs into an eccentric mix of shape, colour and bold animal and mosaic inspired prints, channeling the 1980s furniture and product design Memphis movement. From there on the collection continues to descend into a confusing kaleidoscope of ’70s style geometric patterns and random clusters of feathers. The show draws to an end with ball gowns draped in tinsel or splashed with crystals, finally ended with Karlie Kloss themed as a Pierrot, in a sumptuous gown sprinkled sparsely with large round sequins.—Vicki Matias

Paris editor Lola Saab and correspondent Léona d’Huy are currently at couture week, and will bring further reviews afterwards.

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Filed by Vicki Matias

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