As overblown rumors about Dior's new designer reach new heights of ridiculousness, the design house did a rare thing: They invited a reporter to visit the atelier, see the forthcoming collection, and talk to Dior president Sidney Toledano as well as acting head designer Bill Gaytten. The Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong reports:
[Toledano] refused to reveal who will succeed Galliano, but said: "We will have news in the next few weeks."
Has the appointment been made? Silence, not even a twitch. Will it be Marc Jacobs, as widely anticipated? If so, what will be the ramifications for Louis Vuitton, Jacob's current home and LVMH's greatest cash cow? A pause. Then, "There is an old proverb, those who don't know, speak loudly. Those who know, stay silent." He remained silent, then slipped away for a meeting.
From what Armstrong was shown of the spring 2012 collection, she deduced that it will be devoid of the theatrical frippery like pom-poms and "cartoonish proportions" that Galliano was so renowned for. Granted, this was one of the things that critics lamented the loss of at last season's Dior couture show, but the house seems to be embracing a cleaner, more discreet look for now.
As for Gaytten's own well-being, which could be cause for concern considering he's taken over design duties at both Dior and Galliano (both showing in Paris this week), he seems to be holding it together: "It's been a tough period, but what can I say?" he tells Armstrong, who notes that his design team was cheerfully munching on Kit Kats when she arrived. (A true sign of sanity if there ever was one.)
Exclusive: Inside Dior, fashion's besieged atelier [Telegraph UK]