Under the leaded glass art nouveau ceiling of the grand Le Centorial building in Paris's second arrondissement, Bill Gaytten sent out a crisp Fall 2013 collection filled with cozy fabrics and ladylike shapes. Pencil skirts and slim knit dresses came ruched down the center or gathered at the sides, while felted wool coats and capes came cut amply through the shoulders and sleeves. And though the color palette stayed mostly in the darker-shades-of-neutral range, there was one series of looks in an abstract black-on-white print that felt really fresh.
Bill Gaytten did not hold back on the drama factor for John Galliano's Spring '13 collection. Gone were the overembellishments we're used to seeing from Gaytten’s predecessor, and instead, the designer gave the collection a different kind of theatricality. It was all about structure and volume as the models marched down the runway decked in huge tulle Stephen Jones hats and equally oversize trousers, printed gowns, and billowy tops. Most looks were dipped in hues of salmon pink, lilac, black, and white, but there was also the occasional pop of prints — highlighting an image of a man soaring across the sky — splashed on voluminous skirts and gowns. Details showed a Japanese influence via intricate pleating and folding technique. While it's hard to picture most of this collection worn on the street, we can easily imagine Hollywood stunners like Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore working these dramatic silhouettes on the red carpet.
- Trends: Japanese influence, volume, long, oversize shorts.
- Colors: Black, blue, lilac, salmon pink, white, citron, navy.
- Key Piece: The lilac draped dress showed perfect restraint and drama.
- Accessories: Statement hats by Stephen Jones, leather ankle boots, patent pumps, ankle-strap pumps
- Who Should Wear It: We can see Gaytten's artistic creations on the more daring type like Rihanna and Lady Gaga and classic red carpet types like Blanchett and Moore.
Now that he's not designing for Dior, Bill Gaytten has been able to devote his full attention to creating a new way forward for the John Galliano brand. His Spring 2013 collection was a good move in the right direction, effectively removing all the dripping detail and meticulously crafted romance Galliano lavished on his garments. But Gaytten is not a minimalist by any stretch of the word, and he infused this collection with lots of volume courtesy of thick cotton that featured origami-like folds. Most of the clothing floated away from the body, with the exception of a black bralette top that, nevertheless, had folds in it, too. The color palette was simple: black and white, with splashes of a peachy rose tone, a bright blue, yellow, and a very pale pink. A printed jacquard depicting cars in gridlock traffic added another layer of visual interest. And as if in homage to the outlandish character of the brand's founder — and his love of millinery — Gaytten paired the ensembles with oversize hats designed by Stephen Jones.
>> After over a year of searching for a creative director to replace John Galliano, Dior has finally selected Raf Simons to lead the storied French fashion house.
Simons, who was recently ousted from the director's chair at Jil Sander, will pick up the reins at Dior this week. The house will make the official announcement on Wednesday, and Simons will present his first collection for the brand in July during Paris's Fall 2012 haute couture shows.
Simons's selection makes sense — his final collection for Jil Sander featured clothing that experimented with couture techniques and drew on midcentury silhouettes, rendered in Dior's signature reds, beiges, and pale pinks. It lent credence to the idea that Simons was auditioning for the role — or was at least being considered for it — but media speculation pointed more directly at other designers, like Marc Jacobs and Haider Ackermann.
But Simons will be a fresh start for a house that for a long time was led by a isolated artist. Cathy Horyn noted that Simons is the opposite of Galliano in his approach to creating fashion — an idea the designer echoes. "I'm someone who takes responsibility," he said. "I'm not an isolated person. The more I connect to people, the more I have the feeling that things work."
The job became available in March 2011, when longtime Dior creative director John Galliano was fired for making a string of anti-Semitic remarks in public. Bill Gaytten, Dior's studio director, has been filling in for Galliano in the interim. But Simons wasn't a candidate until October or November of last year, when he began meeting with Dior CEO Sidney Toledano and LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault about the job.
Simons hasn't started designing his first collection for Dior yet, but he said he is looking forward to the challenge of interpreting the house's history for the 21st century.
"Mr. Dior was very innovative during a short time span. And it was in the middle of the 20th century, a period I am very interested in, whether it’s linked to fashion, architecture or art," he said.
Vogue Paris to Launch English Version, Dior Profits Sans Creative Director, and Victoria Beckham's New Cover
>> All of today's news, here in our daily roundup.
- Vogue Paris tweeted that it's getting ready to launch an English edition, meaning non-French speakers the world over will finally be able to read the magazine's stories. "France gave the US the Statue of Liberty, now we are taking Vogue.fr to the wider world... get ready for #VogueParisinEnglish," the tweet read. Whether the translation will extend across both the magazine's print and Web editions remains to be seen. [Fashion Etc.]
- LVMH chief Bernard Arnault told his shareholders this week that Dior is extremely profitable — even without a creative director. "Profits more than doubled to 85 million euros, or $118.4 million, as sales in its own stores advanced 28 percent," he said. That must mean John Galliano's interim replacement Bill Gaytten is doing a good job. [The Cut]
- Victoria Beckham wears some pretty major statement jewelry on the cover of Harper's Bazaar China this month. Oh, the drama. [The Fashion Spot]
John Galliano's Fall 2012 collection was the second solo show for Bill Gaytten, and the incumbent designer successfully set the tone for a charming, British-chic season. He showed gorgeous floaty gowns draped in silk charmeuse and accordion pleats, riding coats with ruffled collars, and sumptuous velvet cropped trousers, all in a decidedly autumnal palette of mustard, royal blue, and cinnamon. Seasoned models like Coco Rocha, Jourdan Dunn, and Lindsey Wixson walked the runway outfitted in sexy thigh-high tights, sheer gowns, and lavish feathered headpieces, punctuating a Fall collection that was a genuine mix of racy and refined, English polish and undaunted sexuality — something we can only imagine Galliano would be proud of.
- Trends: Ruffled poet collars, accordion pleat dresses, cropped riding pants, sheer and fur details.
- Colors: Black, royal blue, red, mustard, cinnamon, soft gray.
- Key Look: The sexy red riding hood: a black onesie with thigh-high stockings, topped with a red silk cape.
- Accessories: Thigh-high stockings, stately feathered chapeaus, lace-up booties, suede and leather gloves.
- Who Would Wear It: English sophisticates with a taste for ladylike glamour.
>>With all the nonstop gossip and all the guessing games that have surrounded Dior as of late, it can be easy to forget what the label is supposed to be about. Thank goodness there is Bill Gaytten to remind us. Today in Paris, the designer — or "acting" creative director — offered up a Fall 2012 collection that felt refined, lovely, and classic Dior. Silhouettes were ballet-inspired and flowing, colors were modern and soothing, and — perhaps most importantly — there were countless pieces that one might actually love to wear.
>> Bill Gaytten went for pure nostalgia at Dior's Spring 2012 couture show in Paris earlier today. "All the structure of iconic Dior, thanks to lots of fittings, but all of it see-through," Gaytten explained. And so, the house's New Look silhouettes were done up in layers of ultra-femme chiffon, organza, gauze, and — for a bit of tough-edged modernity — croc-stamped leather and checks. Frocks were full-skirted and nipped at the waist, or slim-lined with artfully folded pleats, while jackets wrapped in deep, off-the-shoulder vees. "It was the complete opposite to John Galliano-fantasy. It was very wearable," commented a Vogue UK editor who was at the show.
>> Bill Gaytten kept it classic for Pre-Fall 2012. Below-the-knee pencil skirts, peplum jackets, bell-shaped tulip skirts, and round-collar capes were offered up in lovely, pared-down versions — with just a dash of drama found in liquid-like vinyl and graphic plaid.
Bill Gaytten, charged with the task of delivering a line for John Galliano's namesake label, honed in on the designer's signature aesthetic, save for Galliano's flair for theatrics. Styling was more tempered than Galliano's — soft makeup palettes and simple braids and buns. It made it easier to take in the collection, which was marked by sheer, soft, femininity — in fact, there was hardly a look on the runway that didn't offer a sheer piece. Gowns that beg for the red carpet — preferably with the right slip layered underneath — payed tribute to the feminine, highlighting curves with perfect accuracy. Then there's the ladylike daywear: skirt suits, tailored shorts, and blouses in more playful prints, adorned with flowers and topped with hats, that speak emphatically to Galliano's Parisian sensibility.
- Trends: feminine, ladylike, sheer, ruffles.
- Colors: black, white, soft florals, blue, and green.
- Key Piece: the soft, knife-pleat floral strapless.
- Accessories: socks, cutout and ankle-strap heels, flat-topped hats.
- Who Would Wear It: soft, feminine types; Charlize Theron was made to wear one of the sheer, ruffled gowns.