The job of head designer at Givenchy is, traditionally, the "in-waiting" job for when a post at Dior comes up. John Galliano was drafted into Dior from Givenchy in 1996, that was when Alexander McQueen got the job at Givenchy. Such a long time ago.....
If what I hear coming out from very well placed sources in Paris is true, today Riccardo Tisci, the 35 year old Saint Martins trained, Madonna-loving Italian Roman Catholic boy from Givenchy is to be placed as the creative director at Christian Dior.
Part of me hopes its not true; I love what Tisci has been doing at Givenchy since 2005, when he arrived a virtual unknown and showed Givenchy collections that revealed his preoccupation with gothic romanticism, crucifixes, and playful S&M references and cartooons. That he understands women, and creates a powerful femininity is a given: this is a gay Italian man, with eight - yes EIGHT - sisters. I remember interviewing him when he had just completed a wardrobe for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour in 2008 and he talked effusively about how his sisters inspired him, and how he was not frightened of feminine strength. He sure knows how to make a woman look strong. And how to make a man who wants to be a woman (his former assistant Leo is now a transgender supermodel named Lea T) look dignified and wonderful.
His Haute Couture presentation in January was incredible to behold in close-up, with workmanship blending the modern and ancient technique. In turn his couture provided, for me, the best Oscar dress on Cate Blanchett and Grammy dress on Florence Welch for 2011. Tisci at Givenchy makes a lot more sense than Alber Elbaz. Alber is perfection itself at Lanvin. It would be a travesty to take him away from the house. Givenchy on the other hand can take another bout of reinvention. Maybe from my personal tip for the Dior job, a certain Mr Peter Copping.
The rumour mill suggests we should expect an announcement after Miu Miu finishes this afternoon, in time for the nightly TV news, and just before tired editors hang up their BlackBerrrys, iPhones and laptops for a couple of days rest as the month-long fashion marathon comes to an end.
I'm not betting on it. I reckon LVMH should let this guessing game last a bit longer. After all, there are legal requirements in French employment law that mean a lot more hoops needs to be jumped through before Galliano's contract is officially dissolved. With John Galliano away at a rehab facility (as I have heard from close sources) this story does have a while to run.
If John successfully argues (as I have also heard on the rumour mill) that he was mentally ill, and sick from his alcoholism and medications at the time of his anti-Semitic rant then he may have a legal case of his own.
ANYWAY: this all adds up to wonderful fashion drama and gossip, exactly what any dyed in the wool fashionista such as myself and my colleagues were put on this earth to report on.
Watch this space!