Since his departure, everyone and their "Fashion Dog" has speculated as to who would succeed him at the House of Dior. Names were dropped--it seemed--every week. It was rumored that Marc Jacobs was in, until the Dior execs didn't meet his demands, including a multimillion dollar paycheck plus he wanted to bring his team--including his right-hand man, Robert Duffy naturally. Alber Elbaz, Lanvin Creative Director, as well as Haider Ackermann were also rumored to have been choices as well.
The entire time, Galliano's "Design Bestie" Bill Gaytten has been designing both the Dior Pret-a-Porter (Ready to Wear) and Haute Couture collections, to mixed reviews. Most recently, however, he received great reviews for his last Dior Haute Couture Collection shown earlier this year. Many editors and fashionistas grumbled, saying that the Dior execs should stop this nonsense of having Gaytten be the "interim designer" and just give him the official "Artistic Director" title.
Then two months ago in February--suddenly and unexpectedly--news broke that Belgian Raf Simons was to leave his job as Creative Director of Jil Sander, making way for the German designer to return to her post. Cut to today, and yes, Simons is the new designer at Dior. He will be the sixth couturier for the storied French House. No word on where that leaves Bill Gaytten in the mix (if I was him, I'd take a LONG vacation to Tahiti!!). But for now, I can't wait to see what Raf Simons does for the House of Dior. Bye Bye Tutankhamen Dior Couture, hello to a new, clean, minimalist Dior.
Below, are some of Raf Simons for Jil Sander "Red Carpet Hits":
Tilda Swinton in Jil Sander by Raf Simons, 2011 Golden Globe Awards
Diane Kruger in Jil Sander by Raf Simons, VW Party in Berlin 2008 (wearing Dior shoes, incidentally)
Kate Bosworth at the 2010 Hollywood Style Awards, in Jil Sander Spring 2011 by Raf Simons