Tweeters at Style.com said that they didn't want to "add to the Dior rumor mill" yesterday when they revealed that "people in Paris are asking, why has the Lanvin team been in tears all day?"
But of course they did, and now everyone is wondering why Jason Wu was sitting front row at Lanvin. When asked by WWD, the young American designer simply said, "Mrs. Wang asked me." Mrs. Wang is the owner of the Lanvin fashion house.
Whether or not this means anything is difficult to determine. So I'm going to put my common sense hat on for a moment. Common sense tells me that Riccardo Tisci is definitely, definitely the next Dior designer. Sources inside the house of Dior--sources whom I trust--have told me as much. But it's all just rumors, right? Even Derek Blasberg's "confirmation" is still just a rumor. We won't have a solid answer until LVMH releases an official statement.
So until then, it's fun to dream. And in my dream, Tisci is not the next Dior designer. Don't misunderstand me: I think that he is incredibly talented, and quite possibly the designer with the most creative potential working today. Sitting at my computer last night, editing the photos and text coming in from Paris, I fell in love with his Fall 2011 collection for Givenchy. I've always been a bit uncomfortable with Tisci's work, and that's not a bad thing. When a designer makes you squirm, it usually means that they're doing something you haven't seen before, but that you know is significant in some way or another. Last night, Tisci's collection still felt a bit perverse to me, but at the same time I wanted to buy all of it. And his last two couture collections? Truly, truly masterful work. I've been blown away.
As Long said in yesterday's review, Tisci has made Givenchy his, erasing nearly all references to its past. I like Tisci at Givenchy. I can't wait to see what he does next. But I don't think Tisci should go to Dior.
Alber Elbaz belongs at Dior. Why? Because he makes beautiful, feminine, fantastical clothes that women want to wear. He may not have that Tisci edge, but that's why he's so perfect for the house. What Dior needs right now is an uplifting spirit. It needs a bit of polish--it needs to move away from that cheesy persona and back to ladylike elegance. As groundbreaking as much of John Galliano's work at the house has been, and despite the fact that he's made them a whole lot of money, the Dior brand is still chintzy. Would you buy a Lady Dior over a Chanel 2.55? Probably not. A Dior suit or Chanel suit? The latter, of course. Much like Karl Lagerfeld, Elbaz has the ability to design something fun and playful that's also elegant. There's no brashness to his work, and that's why he would make such a good fit.
Plus, I really want to see his version of the New Look suit.