Another day, another development in the John-Galliano-at-Parsons drama. We told you that he is set to teach a 3-day workshop at Parsons, and we told you what we thought about it. Then came the petition created by an anonymous Parsons student demanding that the school reconsider allowing Galliano through its doors. The last time we checked, the petition had 916 supporters, all of whom believe that allowing this incredible designer into Parsons’ classrooms will disgrace the school and shows a willingness to look the other way when it comes to the designer’s (drunken) anti-Semitic remarks.
To this we wonder, who’s looking the other way? Galliano didn’t make his remarks yesterday. No, he made these statements over two years ago; he lost the helm at Dior; and he paid (literally) for what he said. It was only after all this that Parsons and Galliano crossed paths. This, in our opinion, is not exactly looking the other way.
Despite the growing support for the petition against Galliano, we are not alone in thinking that it would be an invaluable opportunity to be the pupil of such a talented designer.
Tracy Reese, who attended Parsons, told Elle.com, “It could be great for the kids.” She went on to say, "I mean, he's had a tough time. I think he's truly sorry for everything that went down. And [Parsons] is still the best. Having been in the industry all these years, Parsons is the place to be."
Narciso Rodriguez, also an alumnus of Parsons, echoed Reese. "I think that John is a great talent. Any student that gets to learn from him would be very fortunate."
Tim Gunn, the former Parsons chair of fashion design, said of Galliano, “In terms of his craft and design, he's a master.” Gunn went on to say, "I applaud the opportunity. You know, The New School has always been a risk-taking institution and it's one that will do the provocative. And if it's going to happen anywhere, it's going to happen within the halls of The New School. It's taking the high road, and I have great respect for it."
And it would seem that the Met, Moda Operandi, and Condé Nast are supporters of John Galliano, too. The spring 2013 exhibition organized by The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be “PUNK: Chaos to Couture.” The exhibition, on view beginning May 9, is supported by Moda Operandi and Condé Nast and includes several renowned designers – among those, John Galliano.
Though it seems that his supporters are fewer and further between, they are there, nonetheless. And they are important in the fashion industry. All the signs indicate that a slow and steady comeback has already begun.
Jennifer Williams is a law student, who writes about fashion, the legal avenues available for protecting it, and the ways in which the laws are falling short.