Bill Gaytten’s collection for Christian Dior couldn’t have been under greater scrutiny. In the last week alone, all of Raf Simons, Stefano Pilati, and Christopher Kane have been anticipated to fill John Galliano’s throne at Dior, now that a full year has passed since his untimely exit. But none of the speculation surrounding the house seems to have distracted Gaytten, who’s steadily risen from Galliano’s right-hand man to de facto creative director, from the work at hand.

His fall ’12 outing consisted of skillful tailoring and soft layers, playing on Dior’s trademark balance of femininity and masculinity. These were very wearable garments, modifying early Dior trademarks as well as Galliano’s more flamboyant stamp upon the label. Fifties-era silhouettes with belted peplums and midi-skirts were updated with cropped trousers, loads of leather and platform court shoes, giving a masculine edge to the ballerina flounce of light-as-air fabrics in powdery pinks and mauves.

The final evening show-stoppers were classic Dior, creating a perfect hourglass shape. The last of these, donned by a regal Karlie Kloss, came with floor-length sheer pleats in a deep burgundy, which has proven to be a popular shade across many collections this season.

Based on the strength of the collection, perhaps Gaytten will be allowed to ease into the helm at Dior, which at this point seems to be one of the last options on the table.

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