Are we really done with John Galliano? This question presented itself again recently when I read that Kate Moss will still use the designer to create her wedding dress and that his mens line is preparing to send a Spring 2012 collection down the runway at Paris Men's Fashion Week on June 24. In case you didn't know, in March, John Galliano self-destructed in a drunken “I love Hitler” rant that was caught on video and shared with the world. Galliano was subsequently fired from his creative director position at Dior and his namesake label.
So, the news that Galliano is still working is difficult to reconcile with the strong reactions from many of the industry's figureheads. Karl Lagerfeld said he was "furious" about it. LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, who brought Galliano to Givenchy in 1995 and moved him to Christian Dior the following year, was particularly wounded by the incident. Lagerfeld said, "I'm furious that it could happen. The question is no longer even whether he really said it. The image has gone around the world. It's a horrible image for fashion, because they think that every designer and everything in fashion is like this. This is what makes me crazy in that story. Further, I'm furious with him because of the harm he did to LVMH and Bernard Arnault, who is a friend, and who supported him more than he supported any other designer in his group, because Dior is his favourite label."
Others have also had harsh words for Galliano, who is currently in rehab. Following the incident, Isaac Mizrahi said, "I was like, buh-bye. It can't be tolerated." Natalie Portman, who remains the face of Dior's fragrance Miss Dior Cherie, issued a statement days after the video of Galliano surfaced, saying she was "deeply shocked and disgusted by the video" and "would not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way." One person has seemingly been on his side. On April 3, just a week after his infamous drunken evening, Dior showed its Ready-To-Wear Women's Autumn/Winter 2011/12 collection. While there were few, if any, A-list celebrities at the show, Anna Wintour held court in the front row. While Vogue never released a statement about Galliano's firing from Dior. Anna told the Wall Street Journal just that, "this is all so tragic."
Slowly, however, more people are speaking out as part of Team Galliano. Recently, Charlize Theron and Eva Green, both former Dior fragrance spokesmodels, have come to Galliano's defense. At a recent Dior event, Theron said, "He's got an important journey to go through right now. But I wish him nothing but well." Green claims, "I don't think he's anti-Semitic. I'm Jewish. I don't think he has anything against the Jews. I think it's more that he was probably a bit drunk." Maybe its my love for Galliano and Dior, or maybe its my view that the fashion industry and the American public is quite forgiving, but I am holding out hope that we are not done with Galliano just yet. I would not be surprised at all if he finds this to be an opportunity to reinvent himself.