John Galliano missed as show goes on at Dior

Jul 5, 2011
Sophie Taylor

Fashion house shows first collection without disgraced couturier - and it’s a bit of a flop

The recently sacked Dior designer John Galliano, facing charges in Paris for making anti-Semitic remarks, isn't the only one on trial. Questions are being asked of those he left behind in the Dior studios, following a disappointing haute couture show yesterday in Paris.
The fashion house, owned by luxury brands group LVMH, went ahead with its first show without Galliano in 15 years, making it the first ever collection of its kind to be shown without a named couturier.
In the absence of Galliano, assistant Bill Gaytten and his assistant Susanna Venegas - who both took the traditional bow at the end of the show - opted for an autumn/winter collection that relied heavily on Galliano's trademark eccentricity and penchant for the dramatic.
With striking Pierrot-esque make-up and magnificent, blossoming ball-gowns, the scene on the runway erected in the gardens of the Musee Rodin could have been the work of the man himself.
But there was a "great big hole at the centre of this collection," writes Lisa Armstrong in the Times, where "vision, a deft hand and creative playfulness should have been".
The craftsmanship was there, said Sally Singer in the Daily Telegraph, but not Galliano's "wicked wit and madcap historicisms".
Unfortunately for Dior, it was exactly these characteristics that got Galliano into trouble. He was arrested in February after being filmed calling a woman a "dirty Jew face" and telling her she "should be dead". Another video soon surfaced of him saying that he loved Hitler. He was promptly sacked.
But while sales at the fashion house have since remained strong, the most coveted job in fashion has still not been filled, and while Galliano awaits his fate, many are wondering if anyone will be able to fill his shoes at Dior.
For a brand used to heading up the vanguard of high fashion, words such as "underwhelming" and "tepid" will cut deep.

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