While everyone is hemming and hawing over who is to take the reigns at Dior, one man has been quietly and steadfastly doing his job, stepping into that hallowed role, without much fanfare. Bill Gaytten, who worked behind-the-scenes with John Galliano for 21 years, has taken the reigns at Dior and at John Galliano, and will have the distinction this season of being the only designer to take a bow at both shows, WWD reports (subscription required).
Gaytten is creative director at Galliano and his title is head of studio at Dior, however without a creative director yet installed, there's no doubt that Gaytten is head designer in everything but name at the famed couture house. So what can we expect this season at Dior from a man, which we know so little about?
WWD reports that Gaytten shares a "sense of history" and glamour with Galliano but that his design perspective is markedly different, noting "a modern streak" that runs through all Gaytten's work. “John was more of an out-and-out romantic,” the designer told WWD, before adding, "I do like a bit of glamour and femininity rather than flat shoes and trousers.”
We already saw what Gaytten can do at the helm of Dior--his first collection without Galliano, the Haute Couture show this July, was widely criticized by fashion experts. Regardless, it seems that many people are rooting for Gaytten who, in personality, seems as far away from Galliano as one can get: Unassuming, and is interested in 'the doing of' fashion," not fame. And since the Haute Couture show was his first, and no doubt the designer was under a large amount of stress, we'll chalk up the dismal show to first-time jitters.
Though that only means that even more is riding on his Spring 2012 ready-to-wear shows. We'll have to see what Gaytten cooks up this time.