Galliano Latest: Designer To Face His Accuser Today

28 February 2011

Today John Galliano will meet face-to-face with Geraldine Bloch (one half of the couple that is accusing the designer of allegedly hurling anti-Semitic and racist insults at them), by order of the public prosecutor's office in Paris. Galliano has denied all accusations and has since filed a counterclaim for defamation, injury and menace against the couple.

As a video of the designer emerged this morning, allegedly showing a previous incident with the designer making anti-Semitic comments, WWD today claimed that police sources said Galliano, who was briefly detained after Friday night's incident, "was inebriated, with an alcohol reading of 1.01 milligrams of alcohol per liter of exhaled air."

Despite the controversy raging on, the $1.1bn Dior empire, appears to be pressing ahead with its forthcoming A/W'11 ready-to-wear show, scheduled to take place this Friday in Paris, as well as the show for Galliano’s eponymous label on Sunday. A giant tent is currently being erected for the Dior show in the gardens of the Rodin Museum. As WWD notes, Dior, like many fashion houses "has large design teams capable of producing collections" in Galliano’s absence.

The fashion trade bible also reports that under French law, the penalty for defamation can be one year in prison and a fine of £38,500, or either one of those punishments. For insult, the sentence may be six months imprisonment and a fine of £19,200 or one of those penalties.
Galliano, 50, has worked at Dior since 1996, and, as the designer of six collections a year, has one of the most high pressure jobs in the industry. Other designers have also found it hard to come to terms with the pressures of working in fast-paced world of fashion. Marc Jacobs checked into an Arizona rehabilitation center in 2007, and Calvin Klein famously walked onto court in the middle of a New York Knicks basketball game, seemingly trying to talk to the players.

Many of Galliano's former and current colleagues, and industry peers have come forward to describe their shock at the allegations levelled against the man who is generally regarded as shy and quietly-spoken with impeccable, old-fashioned manners, despite his flamboyant appearance.

Meanwhile, fashion insiders urged caution before a final judgment is reached against the Gilbraltar-born, London-raised designer. 'Everybody in the fashion world and everybody else should wait and hear what the police report says,' said Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune. 'I want to know what really happened.'


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