John Galliano's Dior Replacement: Who Can Match Up?

With now former Dior head designer John Galliano officially ousted from his position of fourteen years due to anti-semetic outbursts, Dior is pressed to find a replacement. The names that have been circulating the media the most have been Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, soloist Haider Ackermann, and Stefano Pilati of Yves Saint Laurent. Given that Galliano will be leaving Dior with their Fall 2011 RTW collection, its only fit KidViskous explores this latest season from both Dior and the designers in consideration. See where the designers are at this moment and where they would have to pick up from if they are called to join Dior.


Click through to see their collections:

Christian Dior, Fall 2011 RTW - Galliano's last season.


What to pick up from: The eccentric John Galliano was always one to elaborate on bygone eras, heavily influenced by the 20s to 40s with touches of punk rock, and we continue to see that in his last collection for Dior. As Galliano himself becomes more pirate-y/musketeer-y (pencil mustaches much?) so has his designs. Here we see rich colors and fabrics, cloaks, floppy wide-brimmed hats, cropped-sleeve fur jackets and the kind of elegantly detailed and revealing dresses that you would see on a black and white screen siren playing a helpless pirate hostage. For a Ready To Wear collection, it's a sumptuous gradient of heavily luxurious pieces to classically feminine sheers.

As much as on the runway, Galliano's designs have always belonged in the theater. Stylist Patricia Field said, "John lives in theater" in her defense of Galliano that she emailed to 500 friends, editors and blogs. Galliano must already have at least a thematic outline drafted up for the next season, so the new head designer will probably have to work with more dramatic designs than he is used to.


Contender #1 - Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy
Givenchy, Fall 2011 RTW

An overall observation about the possible Dior replacements is that none of them quite match up on the levels of vintage glamour and theatricality. Here Tisci pairs pencil silhouettes with tongue-in cheek floral and panther prints. There is a slight reference to 60s mod with the bucket hats and thick thigh high stockings, but paired with the long-sleeved ringer tops and baseball jackets it gives the look too much of a casual aspect. Otherwise, Givenchy this season scores low on theatricality or old Hollywood allusion, but is the only designer in consideration who is unafraid of prints and patterns the way Galliano is. Before Dior, Galliano designed at Givenchy, so that alone may be a good jumping off point for Tisci. He is currently the forerunner for the race to replace Galliano, the apparent plan being that Haider Ackermann will then replace Tisci post at Givenchy.


Contender #2 - Alber Elbaz for Lanvin
Lanvin, Fall 2011 RTW

Alber Elbaz is definitely a fan of classic feminine styles and we can see it in his latest collection for Lanvin (not to mention in his H&M collection). Elbaz consistently designing some of the most desirable short dresses with an overall vibe that is very Breakfast at Tiffany's. Lanvin exhibited collarless jackets and caplets, classic black gloves, Elbez's go-to tulip skirts and floppy wide-brimmed hats much like Dior's. Classic, feminine, but perhaps not enough risk taking. As far as his chances for replacing Galliano, Style.com tweeted yesterday that the Lanvin team had been in tears all day at Paris Fashion week—possibly because Elbaz is leaving?


Contender #3 - Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent, Fall 2011 RTW

There are a lot of basic parallels between Dior's Fall 2011 collection and YSL's: pieces that range from dark to white, classic 30s/40s cuts, lush furs, delicate sheers and of course, capes. His instincts are on par with Galliano's having strong, luxe, feminine and essentially vintage styles that can be easily nudged into more extremes. The media has already stated rumors that Pilati will be leaving YSL anyhow, with former Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane and former French Vogue Editor-In-Chief Carine Roitfeld thought to replace him (YSL has denied the rumor). His possible leave of YSL presents an immediate opportunity for Pilati at Dior if inevitably true.




Contender #4 - Haider Ackermann
Haider Ackermann - Fall 2011 RTW

Debuting in 2001 Haider Ackermann has quickly made a name for himself in the fashion industry as a young Rick Owens. He has the benefit of not being bogged down with the burden of leaving another fashion house and that convenience that could set him ahead of other Dior candidates. As you can see Ackermann had the same instinct as Galliano for Fall 2011 with the rich, flowy turquoises and burgundies, but giving the classic colors and textures modern, deconstructed cuts and silhouettes. A perfect balance of glamour and avant-garde, judging from just their most recent collections I personally think Ackermann would follow Galliano best so far. But being relatively new he may find working for a big fashion house more difficult and intimidating than the other designers in consideration. In the end, I think Ackermann could take Dior into a new modern direction and really revolutionize the brand for the next decade.


Who do you think should replace Galliano?