08 March 2011

John Galliano’s label will not be shutting down (yet)

So much, much maligned label, John Galliano, will continue, for the time being. CEO Sidney Toledano was visible at the presentation on Sunday, after speculation beforehand that LVMH might choose to distance itself from the disgraced designer in more ways than one. He told the press that   ‘For the moment, the [Galliano] business continues,’ Toledano confirmed. ‘This is a business which has licenses and tomorrow we will show the collection in the showrooms as usual . . . I am here to prove that business goes on . . . and to support the teams.’

Yes, the teams. Although the staff of the entire Dior atelier took the bow at the end of the runway show on Friday, none of them have been named, or included in the fashy sweepstake of who will be next to head up the fashion house. Yet, IF the whispers that Galliano himself had been behaving chaotically and drinking heavily for a lot longer than the past few months are to be believed, then these design staff should take the credit for a bit more than just executing JG’s vision. Should the house of John Galliano, which is not said to be one of LVMH’s more profitable businesses be closed down in the wake of its namesake’s career collapse, it seems very unfair to sack his faithful band of seamstresses, pattern cutters etc – after all they have achieved in the circumstances, and interestingly, this weekend's collection was widely praised as one of the label's finest in years.

Meanwhile, another familiar fashion eccentric, Jean Paul Gaultier, has publically spoken about the débacle. ‘It's sad, because he was an enormous talent,’ Gaultier told a small group of journalists after he presented his fall-winter pret-a-porter collection as part of the ongoing Paris fashion week.

‘Everything he has done has not revealed someone who is racist - quite to the contrary,’ he said, alluding to the many Galliano collections that drew inspiration from the four corners of the world.

JPG may be right in saying that Galliano has never shown himself to be a racist or anti-Semite in the past, but who will blame those who don't rush to defend Galliano after he said what he did? The saga continues.

- Naomi Attwood


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