Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Haute Couture | X-ray Vision by Christian Dior

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012 by Bill Gaytten

At the preview of his Christian Dior spring haute couture collection on Sunday evening, Bill Gaytten, the designer entrusted with the house's creative direction post John Galliano, talked of viewing the iconic look of the house with X-ray vision. Gaytten went on to say he was thinking about transparency versus opacity, of clothes having to be perfect enough to be held up to intense scrutiny, and of floral embroidery that gradated from placement stitches to only-in-Paris-could-you-see-this-level-of-craftsmanship, a commentary on the brilliance of the work needed to conjure up couture.

Enjoy Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012 Backstage & Fashion Show Video! LoL, Andrea

"The idea is icon Dior, but looked at with an X-ray vision," Bill Gaytten said early Sunday evening about the Christian Dior spring 2012 haute couture collection he showed Monday at the house's fabled eight arrondissement address, as a kind of hushed frenzy took over over the buildin. Karlie Kloss, scheduled to wear the opening look, just darted away from her fitting, while the ateliers dealing with flou, tailleur, and what can only be described as la grande nuit (dramatic evening dresses with huge skirts) grabbed their last break of the evening before work slid into the night, some at dinner, while one seated man stretched over his work space got a vigorous back massage. Looking at Dior's heritage with an X-ray eye means, of course, that Gaytten has been seeing clearly the idea of transparency. In essence, this means that 1947 New Look-era silhouette of a tiny waist, jutting hips, and full skirts rendered in the gauziest and lightest of fabrics - tulle, mesh, net - in black and white, with color /Dior-red, deep purple) is gradually seeping into Gaytten's palette. There is the house's finely wrought handiwork, too, in the form of embroideries that start faintly, then build and grow as if sketch was being fully realized; the idea of decoration, said the designer, as "very much a work in progress." The challenge, of course, is that by stripping away opacity, everything has to be held up to the harsh glare of light before it can be shown. "It's not easy," Gaytten agreed, laughing. "It demands perfection."    

Christian Dior Haute Couture 2012 Croquis

Le Moulage

 La Réalisation

You can see where I am going with this, can't you? Work in a state of flux, a forensic eye on everything you create, and the relationship between conceal and reveal; it all marks the current state of the house of Dior, which has been subject to the namegame for nearly's a year now, with the world guessing as to who is going to permanently replace Galliano. Plenty have been touted. For its part, Dior - and its owner, LVMH - have done nothing but keep a dignified silence over the matter, and just let Gaytten get on with his work. Would that everyone have been so gracious and not contributed to the rumor-mongering that has been going on. Take into account the fact that Dior's sales have ticked upward in less than a year, too, and perhaps there isn't the pressure to make a change soon or maybe even ever. Certainly, in Gaytten's case, he has emerged this season as a perfectly fine keeper of the Dior flame. He didn't deviate from the house's heritage as shaped by John Galliano, whose masterly collision of light and air with construction and restriction was extensively riffed on here.

The X-ray idea was evident from the opening look, worn by Karlie Kloss, a white sheer organza coat that looked like Gaytten had belted  a cloud with a minimal/clinical black leather, and then proceeded to embroider it with black flowers over its full gauze skirt. From there on, he explored a transparent/opaque, positive/negative, black/white theme through billowing jackets, dresses, full skirts and coats, to a closing series of grand ball dresses, some heavily tiered and concertina-pleated, others fluttering with wispy feathers - all as if putting shadow and light into clothing form. Along the way, he touched on the house's shade of red, with a finale to end all finales: a dramatically proportioned strapless evening dress on Aymeline Valade. There was also the classic houndstooth worked as an embroidered check on a jacket or pencil skirt. And Gaytten emphasized his stricter, controlled silhouette via the use of faux-tailoring basting stitches. To put his fifties glamour moment across, the models struck the kind of poses they would need to have worked if they'd wanted to convince legendary fashion illustrator (and Dior collaborateur) René Gruau to put pen to paper.

In the end, what transpired was a well enough executed show that spoke to what Dior can be by referencing what it once was. Therein lies the rub. With so many creative directors advancing the cause of the role of forward-thinking design in defining their brands - Phoebe Philo at Céline springs mind, with her cool-girl urbanity, as does Givenchy's sexed-up tough chic courtesy of Riccardo Tisci - it feels more important than ever that Dior start pushing into new territory, too, regardless of who's at the helm. Right now there is a vacancy for pretty, feminine, youthfully elegant clothes´drawn for the twenty-first century - and someone should be filling it.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway & Kevin Tachman


Shagun said...

Ravishing beauty in design by Dior. Each outfit is a poetry in feminine chic.My favorite is the uneven layered, white/black sheer organza gown with full, Victorian skirt & a bow.Sensational editorial, dear Andrea!!!...Cheers, Shagun

lorenabr said...

Die Kollektion ist wunderbar! Ich wurde gerne mal fur ein Modehaus illustrieren ... was fur ein Traum! :)

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