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Christian Dior Womenswear A/W12

Bill Gaytten took a balletic turn for the season whilst steering the house in uncertain times

The talk, gossip and rumour mongering still rages on around the house of Dior and Bill Gaytten continues to be seen as a caretaker of the house. This is a little unfair when Gaytten can be credited with keeping the atelier and house afloat and making it profitable but still, analysing his collections can be somewhat of a difficulty when at the back of our minds, we’re anticipating the arrival of a mystery creative director.

When it's as simple as looking at ballet and gleaning full skirts of chiffon, elegant shades of dove grey and powder pink and soft pleats and nodding to Dior’s past whilst erring on the right side of caution, then there’s not too much to dissect except perhaps to pore over the beautiful leather embroidery of an enlarged hounds tooth pattern or the beautiful blown glass and metal rope jewellery and admire the floor length dresses in petrol blue and coral pink that fly about with pleated chiffon skirts. These perfectly judged clothes, calculating even, were finished off by Stephen Jones’ moulded knit cloche hats.

The ballet theme was a only background note to what were beautiful clothes that kept things ladylike without whipping it all up into a cliché. That’s the thing that seems to be separating this Gaytten caretaking period and John Galliano’s storied collections for the house – Galliano did work a theme and often to magical heights. The theatrics have been planed back and the clothes are being allowed to do the talking, even if it’s just a subtle seductive whisper. That will be speak volumes at the Dior store cash registers judging by the number of front-rowers that were trussed up in the stuff, looking happy as can be.