07/30/12 - 0 Comments
I confess to needing a dose of Galliano. I say confess, as, over the past year, any right minded shopper has had to acknowledge Galliano’s recent naughtiness by not flashing his fashion…and shame on those who do…or so I thought. After a momentary troll online, I soon learned that the fashion intelligentsia appear to have sashayed Galliano’s choice words under a designer shag pile, in favour of his arch-apparel…and it appears I too may have slipped my moral shackles and joined them! I began to wonder if the Galliano line has been shunned at all by the bedecked elite.
The triumphant master of Dior couture, whose costumes are not simply steeped in the enchanting lore of old, but are masterpieces of his craft, has vanished from public view, since his allegedly public toasting of the Third Reich in a Parisian bar. Monsieur Galliano’s words on that night were both grim and baffling, not only for the assembled diners, but to many of us unused to hearing such slurred spite. His rather comical distain for ugly people appeared coupled with more sinister tones, allegedly suggesting a love for Hitler and talk of Nazi gassings. The incident had instant ramifications; the House of Dior fashionably shuddered, Natalie Portman frowned as hard as her Dior-contracted brow would allow, and Galliano was suspended and ejaculated within a week! Such was the flustered astonishment at Galliano’s tirade that he swelled the coffers of the French judicial system and ran off to rehab, thus leaving hoards of devotees, myself included, abandoned.
As these shenanigans unfolded, the global mainstream press joined forces to make Galliano their monthly quarry with the fashion press reluctantly following suit feeling that it was way too risky to speak up and devise possible excuses for his stupid stupor. There was the occasional voice in support of him. Women’s Wear Daily quotes SATC super-stylist Patricia Field saying of her friend Galliano: “Beauty, intelligence and energy would describe John as I know him. Where in this trilogy could one find hate? I ask you! My second question is…What exactly did he say?’’ Well, Patricia, whatever he said, it appeared to be peppered with Zyklon B.
Field was a lone loud voice, as most people decided to tuck the name Galliano deep inside their Prada purses and start safely gabbing on about Stefano Pilati’s greatness instead.
I myself have spent a year expressing my distain at his jibes by shading my view of his perfumes when walking past the scent counters. In deference to my Jewish boyfriend, I no longer finger Galliano’s rails when roaming Harvey Nicks. I presumed my self-imposed abstinence was being replicated by all fashion followers, but, I discovered after a few select clicks, that this was not the case. Dior still owns the majority of the John Galliano label and does not appear to be making any major moves at ditching his name just yet. Equally, the Fall 2012 show I viewed online, although no longer designed by the great man himself, remained packed with our botoxed brethren, lapping up his lapels. Where was the empty, derelict Galliano catwalk, haunted only his uncomfortable tones?
Apparently his alleged death camp banter had not touched as many people as I had presumed.
As my guilt-laden surfing gathered pace, I paused, pulling my Tom Ford cardy around me and considered. I wondered if the Dior debacle is another instance where fashion moves against mainstream thought; immune to potentially hurtful imagery and words and defines its own two-shows-a-year morals. An example is fur… the majority of ordinary folk agree that it is a possibly unnecessary cruelty in our modern age, and yet, Queen Wintour passionately reminds us of its existence and Gaultier refuses to let fur (or crocodile) fashion become extinct. As hefty female commentators criticize size-zero models, the fashion cognoscenti remain steadfastly loyal to their ultra low-fat lifestyles. Is it that within our fashion bubble we have learned to define our own sense of reality, often clashing with weightier issues of social responsibility? Fashion, of course, is fantasy, but should we not be able to at least pause and acknowledge when it crosses a line? Is it right to sustain a world in which thin is exclusively beautiful, animals are disposable and hemlines trump the Holocaust?
My illicit cyber liaison with the former chief designer at Dior proved less daring once I realised I was not peeking alone. I admit to feeling a little duped, as I had presumed the Galliano name had spent the last year decked in sack cloth and ashes, when in reality, it was busy working the runway, looking tight-waisted and fabulous.