We've been getting conflicting reports all day (and week) about who's going to Dior, following the abrupt departure of John Galliano. Most of it has been speculation, but today we got word from a highly credible source that a contract has been signed with Riccardo Tisci. Signed. It sounds pretty final now.
Before, one theory regarding Tisci had been his Givenchy collections are too dark, conceptual and masculine for the commercially driven house of Dior. It would seem CEO Sidney Toledano and the other Dior/LVMH execs see it differently, or perhaps Tisci will lighten and broaden his aesthetic.
Alber Elbaz and Haider Ackermann are two other names that have been floated. Yesterday Style.com tweeted, "Not to add to the Dior rumor mill, but people in Paris are asking, why has the Lanvin team been in tears all day?" And indeed Ackermann's fall show was of a brilliance that would shine at Dior.
John Galliano arrived to Dior at the recommendation of Anna Wintour, and so another strain of thought held that another of her "protégés" would fill the top slot. Inevitably, one name that popped up was Marc Jacobs. He'd have no problem with ready-to-wear, as his Louis Vuitton collections are perennial hits, but it's unclear how he would handle couture, which is very important for Dior. Tisci has experience with couture at Givenchy.
Onward. Olivier Theyskens? Why not. He's capable, but difficult. And he's already refused the job twice. It's unlikely to be offered again. He's also pretty well ensconced now at Theory. Christian Lacroix? Very talented and available, but perhaps, at 60, he is a little past the ideal age. Same story with Jean Paul Gaultier, whose name has also been mentioned. And here's another very obvious problem with the choice of Gaultier. While he's up to the challenge stylistically (plus, apparently he and Galliano do not get along, to say the least), Hermès still has a 45% stake in Gaultier's label, and we all know the takeover kerfuffle between LVMH and Hermès. Rodarte? Natalie Portman did opt for a Rodarte dress to the Oscars over Dior, and while it's believed the demure Mulleavy sisters would excel with the couture aspect of Dior, they may not be an ideal fit with the sexed-up, va-va-voom identity of Dior, or with churning out It bags and other accessories at breakneck speed, which is the LVMH way. They could easily be next in line at Kenzo.
All of which has made Tisci the best candidate for the job and why his signing with Dior is believable. As usual, of course, the caveat here is you never really know until an announcement is made, which may be days or weeks away. If it is true, this leaves the question of who's going to Givenchy wide open. Let the musical chairs and guessing games begin—or continue.