I think it's kind of difficult to go from Galliano's maximalism to Raf's minimalism. Galliano has his own universe, and all the details and fantastic colors have always been fascinating and interesting. Having that said, I do think that Raf has captured some of Dior's old self, and made it new. There's some really good dresses in there. Do not care for the shiny material and asymmetrical dress/tops/tunics.
Hmm... I never really liked Jil Sander when Raf was there (although Raf's last collection with Jil Sander was amazing) and I don't really like him at Dior now. I plain didn't like Gaytten. And I never particularly liked Galliano for Dior although the occasional season and some of his older collections were great though.
I guess Dior just doesn't really do much for me anymore.
After watching the show again, i just realized i have the same shiny organza curtains he made the clothes of. Anyway, i bet the next couture show will be better, where he has to step out from his comfort zone.
I'm a bit late but I still can't help but to feel strongly. Most of the people in this thread seem to be falling into the obvious trap set by the business men running Dior. Eating it up as an instant classic when in all reality it falls flat on it's face. The collection impresses a costumer that would more than likely be followed around by the sales associate or security guard if they ever walked through a boutique. It also manages to leave the tried and true Dior clientele out in the cold (I imagined Bernadette Chirac crying...)
For starters, writing off Galliano as somebody who didn't catapult the brand into international acclaim when he took over is an obvious sign you don't actually know much about the history of Dior...even recently. To add that Galliano is “gaudy” or “tacky” and that he didn't contribute to the Dior brand is a completely overstated opinion. And to say that Galliano wasn't concerned with Christian Dior's legacy at all is just ignorant: you must be forgetting collections like Fall 2008 CTR, Fall 2009 CTR, Spring 2010 CTR, etc. (Those that are more Christian Dior than either of the collections Raf has presented so far.) Galliano did quite a few modernized versions of the integral Bar jacket and Raf has tried to update it again, yet adapted it to look more Saint Laurent than anything.
The problem with Raf is not that he doesn't have a vision but that his vision has become extremely contrived. Dior was definitely lost at the time before Raf's appointment and the brand certainly needed a new direction to head in...but this one isn't working. The embellishments feel like they're simply tacked on and I would've rather gone without. It's painfully obvious Raf doesn't want to (and quite honestly can't) work with the froth that could be reigned in by the likes of Galliano and of course the man himself. The collection might have worked if Raf was more honest about being himself, no matter how much the constraints have changed. It's obvious he was reaching to be more romantic and it didn't work one bit.
It's a sign of the times that a more commercial direction in fashion will begin to emerge, but commercial doesn't mean that you lose the luxury required to be a storied couture house. As pointed out by disco54, Galliano's clothes had the opulence to justify the price tags. These clothes look completely thought-less and not very well made at that.
The accessories won't even be able to save this collection at retail. The bags are anything but modern and none of them are even close to being an “it-bag.” The shoes look like they could be from any designer and obviously weren't stable. (I feel particularly bad for Maud Welzen who wasn't even able to walk the finale.) Even the SHOWstudio live panel seemed hard-off to find nice things to say, mentioning that there must be a huge pressure on the models to walk in a straight line.
Also, why is Raf even trying with the makeup? The eyes look so “everyman” compared to the literal art Pat McGrath was producing for some of Galliano's more spectacular presentations and the venue is just as laughable IMO...
PS. Just because you may have enjoyed Galliano's designs doesn't mean that it's impossible to be wooed by something Raf has created. I thought it was normal to be able to appreciate more than one style... Talk about limited points of view; everybody seems to be saying the exact same thing without even bothering to figure out a different wording.