>> The first couple of days of the Cannes Film Festival brought us appearances by the likes of Karolina Kurkova, Diane Kruger, and Alexa Chung; with the weekend past, Natalia Vodianova and Lara Stone have joined the fun in Calvin Klein, Tilda Swinton brought out a Haider Ackermann look, and more than a couple of Chanel couture looks hit the red carpet. All that and more in the slideshow.
>> Karl Lagerfeld has never been one to hold verbal punches, and his recent conversation with W — in which he tells us how he really feels about Christophe Decarnin, explains why he doesn't use computers, and vouches for which designers he would like to see at Dior — is no exception.
A few highlights, below.
On whether he'll ever cut his hair: "No, because I’m afraid it won’t grow again. And I’m not very gifted for hairdos. This is the quickest thing in the world. It takes less than five seconds. I have someone who comes to the house and washes it, puts in the dry shampoo, and takes care of it because I have no time. I don’t even have time to go to the dentist. I’m busy but in a pleasant way. I’m the one who wanted to do all of it, so I can’t complain."
On who he wants to see take over at Givenchy: "Well I’m not a consultant there, but I think Riccardo Tisci would be good, and then Haider Ackermann at Givenchy — not because they are friends of mine, but because they are good."
And if he still wants Haider Ackermann to take over at Chanel: "Not especially. It’s not his world I don’t think."
His thoughts on Christophe Decarnin leaving Balmain: "Forget about it! This was a job done by a fashion editor. I don’t even know the name of the man who did it, so don’t ask me about that."
On why he doesn't use a computer and instead communicates by fax: "It’s very easy to explain: For me, sketching and writing are the same thing. I like to write. It’s a physical thing — I hate to be without paper and pencil in hand. And I write like a talk. I can put my way of talking on the paper exactly the same way. The machines they tried to make where you write directly on computers are not perfect. The minute they’re perfect, I will use them."
The one thing he doesn't like women to wear: "I’m not mad for thongs."
>> LVMH is taking its time with the announcement of Dior's new designer, and it sounds like the decision still has yet to be made. At a recent shareholders' meeting, Bernard Arnault said the plan was to interview a number of candidates before making the call when "conviction" arrives.
But who's reportedly on the short list of candidates Bernard Arnault's advisors have submitted? Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane, Olivier Theyskens, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Prabal Gurung, and Sarah Burton. However, a source in Paris told WWD that LVMH is placing less importance on marquee names and focusing rather on “someone who understands Dior and fits the needs of the company.”
While Arnault, chairman of the board at Dior, is sure to get the final say on the appointee, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, who has helmed the company since 1998, and Delphine Arnault (Bernard's daughter), deputing managing director at Dior and widely viewed as the eventual LVMH heir apparent, are also expected to weigh in. Apparently Dior execs are also receiving unsolicited designer suggestions from top editors and even shareholders.
Delphine, for her part, is seen as a champion of Riccardo Tisci; the Givenchy designer has reportedly been lobbying for the position as well, sketching out his vision for the brand. Bernard Arnault, meanwhile, is reportedly transfixed by royalty, and if Sarah Burton does dress Kate Middleton for her wedding at the end of the month (despite Burton's and the McQueen company's denials), she may pull ahead in the race. Arnault would be keen to launch the new Dior alongside the newly-married couple; Princess Diana, after all, helped catapult the brand's image in 1995 when she wore a Lady Dior bag and then in 1996 when she wore a midnight blue, bias-cut Dior gown by John Galliano to the Costume Institute Gala.
In the meantime, design duties are falling on Dior's in-house design studios, headed by Bill Gaytten, who has worked beside Galliano since the '80s. They're already creating the Cruise 2012 collection and have started in on the upcoming Fall 2011 couture collection, in preparation for its debut in July.
>> After Haider Ackermann's name was thrown into the ring of potential Dior designers on March 1, his phone started ringing non-stop, according to Katou Brandsma, who represents the designer. "When everything went mad, he locked himself in his showroom and turned off his BlackBerry. I believe it's still off now," Brandsma said, almost two weeks after. "It was a very bizarre fashion week, but a very good one for us. Everyone was congratulating us. We had buyers from shops, like Barneys in New York, we've been waiting for 10 years to turn up to our shows. Our designs stood out because everyone else — apart from McQueen — was so boring." [Guardian UK]
>> In recent years, Haider Ackermann's name has been thrown around as a potential successor for Martin Margiela, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, John Galliano at Christian Dior, and Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy. But is he prepared for a leap to a major design house? A couple of years ago when he was offered the Margiela job, Ackermann's backer seemed to question just that — she says she asked him, "But can you cope with a big house? Here it is very protective. If you scream, I am there to support you." He didn't take the Margiela position. And of Ackermann attending Chanel's show yesterday, Cathy Horyn writes, "[His] arrival drew notice. Designers are often invited to shows, but Mr. Ackermann is being mentioned as a possible choice for Dior. This suggestion completely flies in the face of the realities of big brands, and instead of dealing with the issue of pressures within these companies, it serves to throw another unprepared designer into that situation." [NY Times]
>> Haider Ackermann admitted Sunday that there are houses he'd like to design for — his name, coincidentally, has been thrown into the ring for the Dior job — and the backer for his signature label, Anne Chapelle, confirmed that he's contractually free to work elsewhere: “I would be very proud and would continue to support him and be a mentor in the mind.” But, she notes, when Ackermann was asked to take over at Martin Margiela after the designer left, “I said to Haider: ‘Do you understand the Margiela woman? If the answer is positive, I have no objection. But can you cope with a big house? Here it is very protective. If you scream, I am there to support you.'” [WWD, IHT]
>> Yesterday, Riccardo Tisci addressed the rumors of his designing for Dior, and now another rumored contender — Haider Ackermann, who apparently has received overtures from LVMH — has spoken on the possibility: "Yeah, there are places that I would like to go [design for], but it's just a question of . . . it's like a love affair, you just have to meet the right person, look together in the same direction. But, you know, you have a repertoire of your own, and sometimes, [you're] thinking you would like something else to express, and the code of another house might help. I don't know . . . we'll see, we'll see."
Alber Elbaz is also said to be under consideration, but WWD points out: "Elbaz remains under contract to Lanvin. He’s believed to have equity, and is said to be, for the moment, at least, not interested in leaving."
>> There's been plenty a rumor about who might succeed John Galliano at Christian Dior, and in the video above, insiders give their two cents on who they think will take the role. While the Vogue contingent won't comment, Fabien Baron suggests Riccardo Tisci or Haider Ackermann, Stefano Tonchi offers up Peter Dundas's name, and Cathy Horyn opines, "People talk about Riccardo Tisci, [but he's] too gloomy for Dior," saying she'd instead like to see Tom Ford, Raf Simons, or Alber Elbaz.
Despite all the speculation, Dior is apparently in no hurry to name a successor; it's also not legally able, under French employment regulations, to do so until the process to terminate Galliano — which can take several weeks — has been completed. “There won’t be any choice for quite a while,” according to one source familiar with LVMH. “They’re receiving offers.”
Among the candidates Bernard Arnault's advisers have been pitching, according to WWD sources: Haider Ackermann, Hedi Slimane and Riccardo Tisci. Delphine Arnault, deputy managing director at Dior and Bernard Arnault's daughter, is said to be partial to Tisci. And overtures were apparently recently made to Ackermann as a possible candidate for Dior, or to succeed Tisci at Givenchy if he moves to Dior.
Rumor — Riccardo Tisci to Replace Galliano at Dior, Haider Ackermann to Givenchy, and Hedi Slimane to Yves Saint Laurent
>> Riccardo Tisci is regarded as a favorite to succeed John Galliano at Dior — he already works for LVMH at Givenchy, and as a source told Racked, "Givenchy is a training ground for Dior, just like for Galliano in the '90s" (Galliano was creative director at Givenchy before joining Dior in 1996).
Now, Fashionista reports: "The latest gossip [at Paris Fashion Week] goes something like this: Riccardo Tisci will indeed replace Galliano at Christian Dior, Haider Ackermann will slip into Tisci’s spot at Givenchy, and despite YSL’s vehement denial otherwise, Hedi Slimane is about to take over for Stefano Pilati. Oh, and yes, Carine Roitfeld is coming along for the ride."
Vogue UK heard similarly regarding Pilati and Saint Laurent: "Fashion insiders close to the action in Paris suggest that a major fashion reshuffle could be set in to motion in the coming week — and may be sparked by the rumoured appointment of Hedi Slimane and Carine Roitfeld as the new creative team at the helm of YSL. Nothing has been confirmed by the brand, but our sources suggest that — despite YSL protestations to the contrary — Pilati may be replaced."
>> In the aftermath of John Galliano's dismissal, it is understood that Christian Dior plans to go ahead with its runway show on Friday. The Fall 2011 collection to be shown will be Galliano's last for Dior. Will the usual suspects be in attendance in light of the scandal? Time will tell.
And WSJ's Christina Binkley predicts via Twitter: "Don't expect the Galliano thing to end easily. French gov't will likely require a process, and there's the Galliano line to contend with." She's referring to the fate of Galliano's eponymous label — which, like Dior, is owned by LVMH. It also is expected to show as usual, but as for guest attendance, it sounds like even the label's own PR is unsure — they apparently sent out an email today asking attendees to confirm their presence. And will Kate Moss continue to have Galliano design her wedding dress?
For the conspiracy theorists, Fashionista reports: "We’re hearing rumors that the video was from October and released this week because Dior has wanted Galliano out for some time. It’s true, the timing of all this does seem suspect – the quickness with which Dior put Galliano on suspension, and the subsequent allegation that followed, capped by the release of video, the final nail in Galliano’s coffin. Word is Galliano’s alcoholism (he was often reported to be seen drunk at La Perle) and bigotry had been problems for some time." And Fashion Television's Jeanne Beker tweets: "I've seen Galliano rant and rave before. He really does need help. I love the guy (or thought I did) but am sickened by what's gone on."
So who will succeed Galliano? T's Horacio Silva tweets: "So John Galliano has been fired. Who's going to get the call — Riccardo Tisci or Alber Elbaz?" And the International Herald Tribune's Jessica Michault responds: "The safe bet is Riccardo Tisci." Other names that have been thrown around on Twitter are Olivier Theyskens, Hedi Slimane, and Haider Ackermann.