The first Dior haute couture show since John Galliano’s startling exodus was also the first Dior couture show without the designer in 15 years. Onlookers were gripped with curiosity about the clothes, the mood, and the crucial question of who would take a bow at the end of the show.
As an answer, they received a show full of the visual touchstones that filled Galliano’s career: theatrical Pierrot-esque makeup, diaphanous muumuus, sherbet tones, sweeping tulle ballgowns and Karlie Kloss included. Some of the lightness of Galliano’s deft hand may have been absent, but there were plenty of clashing patterns and spherical and cubical hats to distract sceptics.
When it was (almost) all over, after the last speck of glitter fell from the ceiling, Bill Gaytten stepped out and took a bow. The long-time Galliano assistant brought Susanna Venegas, his first studio assistant, onto the catwalk to receive the recognition of a lifetime.
Dior representatives stressed that Gaytten’s bow-taking did not denote his selection as Galliano’s successor. In a season that saw a studio design a haute couture collection, Gaytten took the bow to reflect his status as the head of the studio. Anyone who thought Gaytten's bow may have been an announcement without an announcement: keep waiting.