A season later, and the house of Dior is still very much in transition. Strategy is in play and, all things considered, the one in play at Friday’s spring show made a great deal of sense: commercial clothes. Because regardless of who is designing, there is a loyal Dior customer who wants to buy. And her real-life needs were addressed by Bill Gaytten, in his second turn at designing Dior.
As for an obvious theme or artistic inspiration, there was none, but an LED light show at the outset, which shot around the tent at the Musée Rodin in a line before tracing the signature door moldings, signaled a modernization of the house codes. Gaytten showed subtle reconfigurations of the Bar jacket with a wide neckline and more streamlined basque. Perhaps they lacked the gusto of his predecessor’s but they offered a modification that telegraphed Dior without getting extreme. They were worn over buttoned-up organza blouses and bubble skirts done in airy gazar. Pretty and feminine in pale colors, like ice blue, as well as a few shots of red, it was a light counterpoint to the graphic black-and-white check motif and geometric embroideries on shirts and dresses.
As for evening, it was a steady stream of filmy silks, plied with tulle and lace, the best of which was a pale pink silk dress with a cascade of lingerielike lace ruffles. Was it the spectacular fashion statement one has come to expect from Dior? No. But to have made that the goal could have proved counterproductive.