2012 March 2
Paris Fall 2012: Dior, Isabel Marant
FirstView View Gallery
Bernard Arnault obviously knew something that the fash-cognoscenti did not when he gave Bill Gaytten a few seasons to flex his muscle at Dior. Following a strong couture showing in January, Gaytten's Fall RTW effort was particularly focused on the type of buy-now, wear-forever separates that haven't, until now, been a Dior hallmark. The working woman will find a lot to love: tailored jackets, modest mid-calf skirts in washed silk, belted, soft-shouldered jackets in materials du moment like leather and fur, all in an adult palette of dusty rose, charcoal, sienna, blush, and burgundy. The evening offerings—floor-grazing draped numbers in silk chiffon, mostly—were a bit less novel, although perfectly elegant. So will a new creative director be named? Maybe, but it doesn't seem particularly urgent.
A cash cow for department and specialty stores alike, Isabel Marant is faced with a particular challenge: how to deal with the endless assault of knock-offs of her once go-to style (kicky booties, romantic tops, army jackets)? Reinvention, of course. For Fall, perhaps as a nod to her newfound fame in America, she went Western, with floral-embroidered jackets, shirts, and even pants that would look right at home at, say, a rodeo. The romantic touches, like high-necked lacy tops and dresses, arrived in full force, and worked charmingly with the low-slung embellished trouser she's endorsing this season.