Dior Autumn/Winter 2011 Couture - Bill Gaytten Takes Over

The first collection without John Galliano - Bill Gaytten, who has been announced as the new creative director for the 'John Galliano' label, has also taken the reins for the Dior Autumn/Winter 2011 haute couture show, with the help of his assistant Susanna Venega, who took the bow with Bill during the finale of the show. The show began with mid-length looks (pleated full-bodies skirts with off-the-shoulder structured tops, mixed with mid-length bodycon skirts that hug the hips), and gradually graduated to flowing sheer bohemian maxi-dresses, ending on the usual intricate ball gowns, textured, feathered and ruffled.

Wearing colourful makeup and headpieces by Stephen Jones, the collection didn't stray too far from the Dior couture collections of the recent past, this time with ice-cream shades and safari-inspired prints, as well as 80's graphic prison stripes.

Without the help of John Galliano, there was a sense that the collection lacked a certain something. Almost as though Galliano needed to be there, if only to sit down and go over the basic ideas - to tighten up Gaytten's vision and take it from being a little rudimentary and rough, to refined and sophisticated. Perhaps Gaytten will learn to do this in time, and this collection was a good solid starting point, but without Galliano there is still a void - with a little less attention to detail, or a less inspired vision, a ghostly sense of perfection slips away slowly.

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