It’s Tisci!

I just got home from a wine-and-fruit party, where I met someone who works at LVMH. According to her, Riccardo Tisci is confirmed to take over as designer at Dior, a revelation she made with delight and no sense of loss for the fallen John Galliano. In fact, she was quick to furnish me with figures, suggesting business is such that there is no room at all for the brand’s potential fallout among customers—more than half now from asia.

Since early last week, the on-line fashion community was peddling news that Mr Tisci was the chosen man. There has been no official word from Dior, even when, mid-week, Derek Blasberg, an editor at style.com, Twittered that he overheard the news at an unlikely place: a Katy Perry concert in Paris.

Mr Tisci is as good a candidate as all the other names floating about this past weeks, but is he the right one? No doubt, he has experience (with Givenchy since 2005), is a couturier (in 2007, he told Cathy Horyn of New York Times, Givenchy couture customers has increased from 5 to 29), dresses movie and pop stars (Cate Blanchet at the recent Academy Awards and Madonna for her Sticky & Sweet Tour), and is considered cool (W calls him “man of many muses”), but will he be able to give the house of Dior another chance at greatness, now that it was almost disgraced?

Civenchy Autumn/Winter 2011

Mr Tisci, to me, speaks to the same customers as those at Balmain: moneyed women with rock-chick aspirations who cannot abandon their lady-like ways and, therefore, chose clothes with that little bit of edge. His  A/W 2011 collection for Givenchy is less infused with the usual dark themes, but it is not less romantic and definitely not less feminine.

I don’t know about you, but I see Versace in some of the pieces, the Versace when Gianni was behind the label. The prints are especially reminiscent, and one lemon yellow sweater with a pencil skirt of ornate border design is the Versace Donatella could never pull off.

It is not terribly surprising that there are shades of Versace in Mr Tisci’s Givenchy since, like the Versaces, he is from Southern Italy. However, I do not see him working his heritage and his professed Catholic standpoint into a brand like Dior. Still, for Riccardo Tisci, the best may yet to come.

Fashion show photos: style.com

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