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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Edit: The King of Hearts, Beheaded at Dior






In March this year, one of my all time favourite fashion gurus found himself dismissed from the throne at the house of Dior, by LVMH boss, Bernard Arnault. This, following his suspension in February after a slew of anti-semitic comments and actions made against Jewish people in a plush suburb in Paris. The dismissal came with what one could consider a stern warning to others as Arnault commented on Galliano's behaviour saying, "we [LVMH] do not condone his actions and will manage the designer accordingly."

Galliano, known for his love of theatre and femininity, had been at the helm at Dior since 1996. Almost 15 years later, the man who stating himself his role in fashion "is to seduce", was removed from the fashion house to a double-edged sword sea of emotions from many people across the globe.

Over a decade at the helm, now Dior is left with no successor. Some see this as a mistake and others agree with the move. What is fact, is that the coveted luxury couture house is now left with an insanely daunting task. One that is not necessarily impossible to complete. When Galliano left Givenchy in early 1996 to move to Dior, he was succeeded by Alexander McQueen. Therefore, Galliano stepping out can be replaced by someone else. Again.

Months after the dismissal the media had started to formalize lists of potential candidates. Marc Jacobs is currently dubbed as the most likely potential. Currently Head Designer at Louis Vuitton, it is seen as a seamless transition since he is part of the family and understands the workings of the power house. But then, who steps into his shoes at Louis Vuitton, should he be elected?

Other names that made the list that I personally like are Riccardo Tisci, who is the current head designer at Givenchy. Givenchy has always been a sublimely stylish house with couture detailed in its tailoring and understanding of the female form. That is an element also key to Dior's success. Hedi Slimane who designs for Dior Homme seems so logical, yet can someone who has focused so much on ready-to-wear pull off intricate couture garments like Galliano did? Sarah Burton, who is the Head Designer at Alexander McQueen, was a surprise name for me. I'm a fan of the McQueen fashion house and Sarah has managed to stake her claim and show her talents. Also, Sarah was recently commissioned to make a gown for royalty attending the Kate and William wedding. Could that be the ticket that gets her in the door? And last but not least, is Tom Ford. The name and the man speak for themselves.

One thing I will note, on a personal level, is that I would have enjoyed seeing a name like Matthew Williamson on the list. He's underestimated it seems and quite frankly, the man makes a cut with his eye that women enjoy to wear and he has many formidable collections that prove his capabilities as a couture designer.

Regardless of who gets announced, we know they will do big things. They have no choice. They have a huge reputation to maintain, and LVMH boss, Bernard Arnault, is very well known for his love of luxury, details and a royal aura about a designer's talent.

All I can say is announce someone already, Bernard, and good luck to that person.




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