Monday, 28 February 2011

Goodbye Galliano

Whilst this post is pre the Dior announcement of what will be happening to John Galliano in respect of the meeting with the public prosecutors in Paris, the idea of a farewell is not presumptuous or unfounded.

The moment I watch the unfortunate clip, Galliano became dead in my eyes. It was a worthy Oscar winning performance if the film had required a bitter, washed up, lonely figure at the end of his career or with little or no belief in his self worth. The characterisation and narrative would have shocked and revealed the most insightful point of the demise of a character.

If this were a film then we would be transported to a Parisian apartment or Ibiza villa, 20 years hence where a 70 year old man left to his own devises would be interviewed by a well meaning student or journalist to give an account of his remarks. We would find no remorse, no recognition and still the same views recanted at leisure.

It is a sad fact that with egos and adulation a rather self centred view of ones importance and ones opinions takes over. Let us not confuse this with madness, as madness manifested as depression or psychosis rarely lends to a bitter sweet revelation of the person's mind. Instead madness is a whirlwind of self abuse, fear and paranoia that lashes out to destroy or protect the individual.

There will be many who offer an explanation, will draw comparisons between their own behaviour/addiction/recovery and attempt to find an aspect of humanity we should show compassion for, but for every excuse or proffered explanation the untold damage to others is brushed aside. Whilst I pity Galliano my revulsion is far greater.

Galliano's performance reminded me of Orson Welles and Welles was a devastatingly good actor so much so the performance seemed real. In this case the performance was real and whilst one can look to make excuses, there are no excuses. Forgiveness is one thing, to forget is another.

Dior is now sullied as a fashion house by their creative director's words and actions. It will be goodbye Galliano and unlike Lee McQueen we cannot shed any tears.


  1. All very strange. And in a recent interview he said that he was one of the most normal people in fashion !

  2. Go I thought it was all a storm in a tea cup this is horrible to see.. xx

  3. Oh my goodness, I had no idea about all of this! It shocked me and left me realy disappointed. who knows what will happen now? Well written article!

  4. I don't wish to be so harsh but it is not some self abusive behaviour that cries out for help. His explicit hatred and loathing was paraded out for all to see.
    You don't make remarks about people in such a racist way and then plead moment of madness/ issues etc - not that he has pleaded anything.

    It is all very sad as it has tainted fashion - badly

  5. It's happened twice, sadly.

    He may be under pressure and stress, but he was not having 'an episode' of any medical kind and I agree, it was a case of too much booze and bitterness letting his guard down and his real, racist ideas spilling out.


  6. Brilliantly put, thank goodness for brave principled fashion people like you

  7. He wasn't having a drunken spittle-filled rant, which is what I had assumed had happened. How disturbing.

    This is the articulated feelings of a man who loathes everyone except himself.

    Doesn't he know that Hitler would have had HIM gassed too?

    Silly little man. What a waste of talent.


  8. A waste of talent indeed. This is so pathetic, like a Greek tragedy when the hero is overcome by his hubris.
    What a PR nightmare for LVMH too.
    As if they didn't know that this was Galliano's true character all the time. They must have been paniced for years that he would spout off in public.
    Excellent post.

  9. Eloquently put Kate. I too assumed it had been a drunken, rage fulled argument (not that that excuses it) but too see him say it, as if he was being smart and humerous, is pretty disturbing! All I can say is that it was better to hear the people laughing at a drunk, deluded old fool - at least they weren't upset. What a very ugly man he is.

  10. in Oz we'd call someone who behaved like this a nasty piece of work.

  11. I love John but I am totally shocked by this. I got a call on Friday morning telling me what had happened. I was surprised he was out that drunk as he should have been getting ready for a show. I couldn't believe what he said, it's appalling. It would never enter my head to make remarks like that, ever. I don't even think those things.

    Hope all's well with you xx

  12. I haven't seen the film but it's all too clear. No amount of genius, and I followed him from since his first collections in London, will ever erase the ugliness of his words and beliefs.
    I believed Dior to be far too hasty but it's the very least they could have done - it's damage control mode now and good riddance!

  13. Christina - that is why I'm so deflated & disgusted. I don't even think like that and I so admired him for his work. He often came in to the LCF library when he was in London as an alumi of all our colleges and he was a great sight to behold & interact with.

    At first I was saddened and made 101 excuses in my head but then I saw the video and went cold. What can you say.

  14. This make me sad on so many levels. Xxxx

  15. Well said Kate and I too used to run into him at St Martins and he was well 'nice' to me, so to see the video; dispels all my previous notions of him being set up or a small incident that blew up bigger. Such a shame as he bought so much to fashion and came bank from bankruptcy twice in being such a great designer with real vision.

  16. What he said was usual toxic off his head stuff. He must have been absolutely pickled. The few amazing creative talents I've met tended to have serious flaws and real mean streaks somewhere directed outward and inward. That is part of it? Such artistic tortured souls often end up topping themselves or being stoned to death in some manner or another for their sheer lack of niceness. John is going to disappear under raining blows. Talent doesn't always equal niceness in person. I love his work, and it's a shame he couldn't have kept his mouth shut, I agree, because this could have stayed under the carpet...did we really need to know what John Galliano says when he is pzzd out of his head? It's also a shame those giggling filmers filmed him, because really, he was just a bitter old drunk lonely guy in a bar, and they are always easy to goad into some kind of yukky outburst.

    Poor John. Even a public apology won't hack it now.

  17. He's the Charlie Sheen of fashion!

  18. I was so curious to see where you stand on this issue. And I'm so glad of your position. There is no excuse for hatred. None.


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