The Paris menswear shows ended in suspense on Tuesday with what could be Hedi Slimane's final collection for Christian Dior, should his contract renegotiations with the French label end in failure.
Slimane delivered a pitch-perfect display of androgynous style for what is traditionally the highlight of men's fashion week.
Guests including singer Elton John and his partner David Furnish, Texan socialite Lynn Wyatt and pony-tailed designer Karl Lagerfeld watched models with blunt fringes parade in skintight jeans and leather jackets fit for a rock star.
Anticipation was running even higher than usual amid reports that talks to renew Slimane's contract were faltering and that Dior had already contacted potential replacements.
"No comment," said Dior president and CEO Sidney Toledano, adding that the label would make a statement "in the next few days."
Slimane was equally tight-lipped, but observers are already drawing parallels with Gucci's decision to part ways with its star designer Tom Ford in 2004.
Godfrey Deeny, senior fashion critic at Fashion Wire Daily, said it would be a mistake for Dior to let go of Slimane, who has become a leading light in menswear since he designed for Yves Saint Laurent in the late 1990s.
"Everyone thinks that now everyone is replaceable, ever since Gucci had this semi-seamless changeover from Tom Ford. Well, I'm not of that opinion. I think that certain designers connect and bring a certain soul to the thing," Deeny told The Associated Press.