In the wake of Christian Dior’s decision to fire John Galliano, following allegations that Galliano used anti-Semitic slurs towards a couple in Paris, the fashion world has expressed its sadness at the designer’s downfall.
As WWD reports, the dismissal of a designer who has left an indelible mark on Dior, and on the history of fashion, has left designers, editors and retailers stunned. In an article published yesterday, the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes said Galliano has been "persuaded...to go immediately into rehab" and is intending to fight for his job at Dior. “[T]he pace of fashion today, and particularly the rigorous structure of a corporate fashion house, broke the fragile, artistic creator,” Menkes writes.
When the news broke, Stefano Gabbana took to Twitter, saying, "I'm so sorry for John Galliano!!!" and Giorgio Armani reflected Gabbana’s sentiments, saying "I'm very very sorry for him. It's obviously a difficult time for him. I am also very sorry that they videotaped him without him knowing."
Roberto Cavalli expressed his disbelief at the allegations, describing Galliano as "such a wonderful person." He continued, "I can't believe that he makes some racist [comments] toward somebody, because he's so international... I think that somebody wants to try to be bad with him. I think la Maison Dior should make him [a] big red carpet because he helped Maison Dior to be what it is today. I don't want to judge anybody, but I love John and John, I am with you."
Meanwhile, Karl Lagerfeld spoke of his disappointment at Galliano’s alleged actions, saying, “I’m furious with him because of the harm he did to LVMH and [chairman and CEO] Bernard Arnault, who is a friend, and who supported him more than he supported any other designer in his group, because Dior is his favorite label.”
“I think Galliano made a terrible mistake and such offensive behavior could not be ignored," said Alexandra Shulman, Vogue’s editor in chief. "It is all the same true that he has a huge talent and has contributed enormously to the resurrection of the house of Dior.”
In an email blast to 500 friends, blogs and media, Patricia Field defended the designer, saying that he was “acting out of character.” Her message, which is also posted on Facebook, reads “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? And the third is…What is really going on here??”
Writing for WWD, Bridget Foley compared the sadness she felt upon hearing yesterday’s news of Galliano’s dismissal to the world’s mourning for Alexander McQueen's death, “One of our rare geniuses, a man of unique and irreplaceable talent, has destroyed his career.”
Joan Burstein, owner and founder of Browns, who bought Galliano’s entire graduate collection in 1984, told WWD, “I am deeply saddened by the fact that John Galliano has been dismissed. I hope that I have the opportunity to see him face-to-face, as I have no comment to make until I am told the truth by him.”
Models Jessica Stam and Chanel Iman also showed their support. "I'll miss you John, you're so talented," Stam tweeted, while Iman said this morning, "I’ve been working with [Galliano] for years and he is one of the most amazing, genius men in this business...He’s loving and he’s caring and I wish him all the best."
According to WWD, Galliano is expected to issue a statement today and has filed a claim of defamation, insult and menace against Géraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgiti, the couple who claim the designer assaulted them in Paris last week. And, as Grazia Daily reported last week before the allegations were made, Galliano is rumoured to be designing BFF Kate Moss' wedding dress. Could this be the perfect opportunity to remind everyone of what he does best?
- Jessica Vince