One thing needs to be said, it’s not easy to be Bill Gaytten right now. After Galliano’s “Hasidic” incident in the tabloids, Gaytten is somewhat treated like the son of a dictator. Gaytten is, in many ways, the polar opposite of Galliano.
Our list is a mix of rumored candidates, speculations and suggestions from other editors and designers, and some people we just think might be interesting.
When designers describe the inspiration for a given collection, it's usually not as simple as, say a pair of very young, stylish celebrity sisters. Th
Those hoping for a Dior announcement this week may not want to hold their breath. In a blog post based purely on rumor and speculation (sorry, Suzy), Hint Mag claims that Dior CEO Sidney Toledano has just signed on Bill Gaytten, who most assumed would only be a temporary replacement, for six more seasons as creative director. Hint's source claims that Raf Simons, a frontrunner who we assumed would take the reigns after his departure from Jil Sander, was close to an agreement with Dior until he asked for too high a salary. This reportedly "outraged" Toledano, so he halted the company's search for new talent and instead gave Gaytten the job for three more years.
Following yesterday's confirmation that Jil Sander and Raf Simons would be parting ways, the company has just confirmed to WWD, officially, that Jil Sander will return to the label she founded 44 years ago. "I am very happy and excited to be back," she told the paper. "It feels like coming home after a brief journey." According to a separate WWD report, retailers are happy about the news, suggesting that the label might have more commercial success with Sander at the helm, even if Raf Simons' collections were always beloved by critics. While we're bummed to see him go (and especially curious to see what he sends down the runway tomorrow), we thought he'd make an interesting successor to Galliano at Dior--he was reportedly in negotiations to take the reins at the French house just a couple of months ago. However, it's looking more and more like that's not happening.
Haute couture kicks off next week, and with its approach comes more musing about creative director-less Dior. Critics panned interim director Bill Gaytten's first efforts at couture for the house and today, the AFP wonders how long Dior can thrive without a couturier. Sure sales are up 27 percent, which, the article notes, has served to "limit fallout from the Galliano scandal," but we've yet to see real sales figures from Gaytten's designs, which will be in stores in the coming months. Still, according to experts quoted in the AFP story, Dior can hold on without a creative director for a few season thanks to the diversity of the brand and it's strong design "codes" like the bar suit and nipped waists.
Marc Jacobs is not going to Dior. A source close to the situation tells us Jacobs "declined" the job for good sometime in "mid November." LVMH reportedly approached Jacobs about taking the reigns at Dior in July after Bill Gaytten showed his critically-slammed couture collection for the house. Jacobs seemed a shoe-in for the job. But negotiations between LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, Dior president Sidney Toledano and Jacobs fell apart over money and the reorganization of Jacobs' team. According to a source, Jacobs wanted to bring his team from Vuitton to Dior and "transfer the aesthetic from one house to another" (which might explain the dramatic shift towards a more girly aesthetic in Jacobs' spring collection for Vuitton).
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?
Usually, it’s editorial shakeups that get us all confused and inspire us to create befuddling charts and guides to recap and (at least attempt to) make sense of movement within the fashion industry. Lately, however, it seems that most of the movement is taking place at big fashion houses. Whether it’s the economy or designers getting burnt-out, it seems like a top level position opens (or gets filled) every week. From Galliano's exit from Dior to Marios Schwab's from Halston (which happened so recently we didn't have a chance to include it), here’s our little visual guide to the recent ins and outs at major fashion houses.
Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--An explosion of green and blue lights--as well as a thunderous roar of music--signaled the start of the Dior fall couture show yesterday afternoon. Taking place inside a small tent at the garden of the Musée Rodin, the show officially opened Paris fall couture season. The streamlined stage décor--a simple sculpture by set designer Michael Howell, rather than a full on mise en scène like a maritime port or a tulip garden--was the first sign of a sharp break from the past. Indeed, the house was staging its first couture show without longtime designer John Galliano. But that was not all that had changed.
Haute couture kicked off this week in Paris with one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the season: Christian Dior, sans disgraced creative director John Galliano. Galliano's studio assistant Bill Gaytten, who was recently named creative director of the Galliano label, took the bow following the show, but he received little praise for his efforts. The reviews from all the big papers are in and they're not good. Here's a roundup:
Despite earlier reports suggesting John Galliano would eventually be invited back to the helm of his namesake label, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault told the New York Times' Cathy Horyn that the disgraced designer is not welcome at LVMH. “He will not be working for LVMH,” Arnault said after the Dior Homme show in Paris on Saturday. He also revealed that Galliano's longtime assistant Bill Gaytten is taking over as the creative director of the namesake label. (Gaytten bowed at the Galliano menswear show yesterday.)