Last week we posed the question of what will happen to Bill Gaytten now that Raf Simons has been hired as the creative director at Dior. At the brand's couture show in Shanghai over the weekend, it was made clear that the collection was the last we will see of him at the French house.
This doesn't seem to be something that Sidney Toledano, president and CEO of Dior, seems to be worried about. Rather than focusing on praising Gaytten for the work he's done at the house during this difficult time, his attention centred around the future of the brand under Raf Simons' leadership. Talking to WWD he said that the appointment marks a 'very exciting time' for the brand. 'I always said that te right person would come along when all the strs aligned and that's exactly what happened last week,' he said. '[Simons] has already begun to lay out his vision for where he can take Dior in the future and I think we are all very excited by that vision.'
It's true. Raf Simons at Dior is exciting and there's no doubt that he will flourish there in the same way that he did at Jil Sander. That being said, Toledano's comments must be a hard pill for Gaytten to swallow. He's never disguised the fact that he wanted the big job so to have the attention at his last show pushed in another direction, especially after the fairly good job that he has done under the pressure, must have been difficult.
With all of the attention on Raf Simons since he was announced as the creative director at Dior, not much has been said about what happens to Bill Gaytten. While it's true that his first collection for the house went down with critics like a lead balloon, over the last five seasons he has done a pretty good job considering all of the circumstances. He took hold of the reigns at the house in the interim with the whole of the fashion industry watching his every move, which is a hard task by anyone's standards.
Gaytten has always made it clear throughout this period that he wants his role to be a permanent one and looking back, none of us really took his comments seriously nor did we actually see him as a real contender for the job. What his position at Dior is now Simons' appointment has been made public is unclear but what we do know is that he is still holding the forte at Galliano's label. After a pretty tough last few months we wouldn't be surprised if Gaytten is enjoying the spotlight and pressure moving to someone else.
To insert Bill Gaytten — an undisputedly brilliant technician, but not a designer — into the gap at Dior can be nothing but a temporary solution. It’s high time this gap was closed. But why not with somebody young and untested, as Yves Saint Laurent was when he took over the reins at Dior at the tender age of twenty-one and went on to revolutionise women’s clothes? I still believe that designers with genius and courage, traits which are invariably independent of age, are more likely to thrive at a grand Paris label.
He wrote in his column in the Business of Fashion
Earlier this month we reported that Marc Jacobs moving to Dior was increasingly looking unlikely and now sources confirm that the move is definitely not happening.
LVMH reportedly approached Jacobs back in July after Bill Gaytten's less than impressive couture collection for the house and while Jacobs' move to Dior seemed secure, negotiations fell apart over money and Jacobs wanting to moving his whole Louis Vuitton team to Dior with him. As a result, a source close to Jacobs has confirmed that the designer "declined" the job for good earlier this month, as we reported.
Just as the who-will-replace-Galliano-at-Dior speculation finally began to die down, latest rumours have already talking again. The latest name to be thrown into the hat? Marc Jacobs, it seems. This week WWD confirmed that Jacobs' contract at Louis Vuitton is coming to an end and he's allegedly been in "serious" talks with LVMH bosses about jumping ship leaving Phoebe Philo to reportedly take his place at Vuitton.
Although Alber Elbaz, Sarah Burton and Nicholas Ghesquière have confirmed that they're not leaving their jobs, Haider Ackermann and Riccardo Tisci are still in the list of potential replacements. Bill Gaytten - Galliano's former right hand mind - is said to still be in the running for the big job after making it very clear at the brand's couture show that he's gunning for the role. That said, the collection received terrible reviews making his appointment extremely unlikely.
When it comes to haute couture, the first brand that springs to mind is Christian Dior, but unfortunately the brand did not live up to their reputation yesterday. The collection marked the first time in 15 years that John Galliano was not at the brand's helm and it showed.
Although the venue and customers on the front row were the same, the first look - a multicoloured cape with one rose on the shoulder teamed with a black and white jacket and full bodied skirt - was a significant step in a different direction. Eighties pop art and colour was everywhere appearing on cropped jackets and dresses in organza that lacked the refinement that you would expect from a Dior couture show. The rose motif on the first look appeared throughout inspired by the work of art directors like Jean Paul Goude and Italian architect, Ettore Sottsass.
Despite bosses at John Galliano previously telling WWD that they were confident that the designer will be able to come back from the scandal as Kate Moss did, the reality is far from that ideal. LVMH chief Bernard Arnault confirmed to Cathy Horyn that Galliano will not return, despite her reporting that executives at the conglomertae were 'toying with the idea' of bringing him back. “He will not be working for LVMH,” Arnault explained adding that the designer "didn’t have the simple politeness to contact me” after the story was released.
During the same week that Galliano took to the stand in court to fight his public-defamation trial, Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano selected Bill Gaytten to replace the designer at his namesake brand. Gayten, who worked with the designer for 23 years, made his first appearance as the brand's creative director last week at their menswear show in Paris. “It’s the same job for me; I’ve been doing it for a long time,” he told WWD . “It was a bit different because John wasn’t there.” In addition to working at John Galliano, Gaytten will also oversee the Christian Dior couture collection too, leading many to speculate that he might have that job in the bag too. After all, he is currently the studio team leader at Dior making him a perfect candidate for the role.