John Galliano is(was) considered a fashion sweetheart. I know that as far as Irina and I are concerned, we have always agreed on the positive and light-hearted feeling his collections and presence pass on. We see (saw?) him as a bright light in a world where it’s survival of the fittest.
That was, until ‘the incident’ that cannot be ignored, much as I kicked myself over writing this article. It’s such a delicate matter – a lot of sensitive issues raised by the whole thing:
The designer was arrested on Thursday due to allegations of anti-semitical and racist comments from his part addressed to a couple that was hanging out at the same bar as he.
There was alcohol in his blood.
Dior suspended him.
John plans to sue the couple for defamation.
A mess, a big one.
Personally, I am disturbed by the scandal from a series of points of view, some of them contradicting in their selves. On one hand, we have one of the most talented designers alive, a very busy one, involved in a humiliating incident that is threatening to destroy his reputation forever. On the other hand, the label suspending him as a way to disengage itself completely from any such publicity was an action that to any business seems rational.
Personally, I hold hope that it’s not that bad. That John Galliano didn’t really do all that is plastered all over the Internet, that the quotes are mean things that simply spread like wildfire and which I refuse to continue. My John Galliano wouldn’t have done it. However, should any part of it be true, I am frankly worried about his mental state more than anything else. It clearly shows, should it be true, that there is something wrong underneath and he needs help. At least his cry for help – if it is that – didn’t result in a tragedy (this meltdown is happening little over a year since Alexander McQueen’s death).
As to Dior suspending him, I’m split up on that one. Yes, it’s a sensible decision, from the business point of view. But from the loyalty and appreciation and trust for a man that has given it so much, it’s a terrible proof of detachment. They washed their hands of him after he gave them more than 14 years of outstanding design. He was not given the benefit of the doubt.
Of course, the implications are deeper than that. The Dior house couldn’t risk being associated with a matter as serious as anti-Semitism. Not to mention the fashion world as a whole can’t and won’t afford to be further accused of superficiality. It must be proven that it’s not an egotistical, unfair industry, and thus this situation will be an… example.
In the end, one can only hope for the best possible conclusion to this disastruous incident. To put it gracefully, I will say that John Galliano continues to deserve respect and support.