There was a melancholy air weighing heavy at today’s Dior show at the Musee Rodin particularly in the British block of press where the mutterings and chat about John Galliano’s dismissal on Tuesday were still brewing. Nobody knew what to expect from the show and perhaps we were all there to witness a moment rather than to see what offerings Dior and co. had up their sleeve, assuming the plural here because there is no way of knowing how much of the collection was designed under Galliano’s hand. Dior’s chief president Sidney Toledano came out to make a rousing speech that basically spelled out Dior’s intent to go on and its utter importance to fashion as a whole to add to the sombre mood pre-show.
This much we knew already but with regards to the collection we saw, it was difficult to ignore the circumstances and to seek out an aesthetic meaning from the sixty plus looks. It covered all the grounds that needed covering – daywear, bags, accessories, outerwear – all with a 19th century dandy-ish twist complete with thigh high lace-up boots and wide brimmed hats. It then took a candy-cane turn into something more florid and girlish, making its progression into eveningwear and it was here where marks of Galliano could be found in the sheer lingerie-inspired dresses that shimmied about in pretty pastels and were delicately sprinkled with silver embroidery.
We do know of course that the final direction (knowing so much can change in the last hours before a collection goes out) was not in Galliano’s sphere of control and so we have the entire atelier staff at Dior to look to for a collection that will have more significance in terms of its context rather than the actual clothes themselves. It was naturally fitting that they should then come and receive the audience’s applause, for this season anyway to remind people that behind the individual there is a team and ultimately that it is an end of an era.