Photos via WWD

The Fall 2012 couture shows kicked off today (rather, were off to a “haute and heavy start”) (thanks, WWD) and the industry bible was not kind to the house of Dior. Their review begins:

But anyone who has wondered about how a couture house might fare, creatively speaking, without a couturier (and lately that’s much of the fashion world) got an answer on Monday afternoon at Christian Dior: not well.

A little harsh, right? It gets worse.

[Studio director Bill] Gaytten and [first assistant Susanna] Venegas attempted to forge forth with Galliano’s Dior aesthetic, […] There were Galliano Dior shapes, Galliano Dior winks, even Galliano Dior audacity. What there was not: the Galliano Dior mastery that transported so much of his work, including some of his safest collections, to a land of rare beauty. To Gaytten and Venegas’ credit, they did not play safe, opting for visual overstatement on multiple levels: shape, color, pattern. Unfortunately, these swung way too cartoonish, especially in the tailored pieces, all mixed graphics and cumbersome lines, while in a series of flagrant caftans the models did their part, flailing endless arms like Pat Cleveland wannabes.

Fashion criticism usually isn’t so frank (unless you’re Cathy Horyn) and the Fall 2o12 show lacked the outrageous beauty and imagination of the Spring 2011 show… but it seems a little unfair to pick on an effectively beheaded label.

Check out the full collection and tell us what you think.