Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Thing Or Two About John Galliano

The thing to understand is that John Galliano makes beautiful clothes. That's all that's ever mattered to me.

There's ugliness and then there's Sidney Toledo immediately suspending John from his position at Christian Dior. No terse canned statement of "we support John." Suspended .. officially prohibited from holding his post. Sidney Toledo may have added a disclaimer explaining that this is pending some event or action but I have missed reading that.

An evening drinking at La Perle in the company of his bodyguard and that is all that matters too. A bit soused and reacting to a couple taunting him - John is well known at La Perle and one has to immediately wonder why this behavior was allowed - with the full arsenal of a fashion designer ...

John threw out the worst thing that he could think of "your purse is ugly." In some accounts he yells "your boots are low end."

Quelle horror. The "unattractive" couple accosting John had presumed him to be the homeless man who had been rude to them a few days ago. It's so easy to see that this misunderstanding could have ended with a laugh and maybe another drink. 

It did not. Police were called, allegations that John had made anti-Semitic remarks which has somehow become a crime in France where conversely Muslim headdress is now forbidden.

Sidney seized the moment to not stand by the designer, not to attempt to mitigate charges which have been flung like wet  spaghetti but to separate Christian Dior from John. In my opinion, Sidney Toledo needs to be removed and another director of the company immediately found.

Irreparable damage is done to celebrities who become mired in vicious viral attacks and presumed guilty.   
It's wrong. 

"Perhaps someday we can all have fifteen minutes of anonymity."  Banksy

The Jewish Defamation League somehow absolved Louis Vuitton from the allegations that even unto the '70's it placed signs in the windows of its Champs Elysee store stating that Jews need not apply for work, something that was different than simple lore and yet there are other credible accounts of those days. Goes around, comes around is somehow skewed.

John Galliano has made some of the most beautiful clothes ever made since his seminal graduation collection immediately snatched up by the venerable Mrs. Burstein for Brown's. I drank three or four petite cappuccinos at the Meurice Hotel gathering my nerve in the fall of '87 to walk up to him and tell him that I just had to carry his clothes for my shop. Well, a shop I didn't exactly have the lease for yet but living on hope, I sat down to write my first order. Langorous, slinky bias cut pieces in satin backed crepe, a silk crepe de chine and a handful of Prince de Gaulle checks. Simply the most beautiful clothes I'd ever seen. A few years later, Anna Wintour organized a small show for him in Paris at Sao Schlumberger's apartment to get John past the dramas of flaky backers. 

Ugly cheap purses or boots.  Quelle horror indeed.  The drama is ugly and public. I'd rather swoon at the beauty of John's clothes or sit again at the bar of the Saint James & Albany scolding John for staying out too late while nursing a cold. Let's get back to fashion.


  1. This whole thing is just so sad. Whatever he did or didn't do, I don't understand why he gets such harsh punishment and judgement. Actors and actresses do FAR worse and they get another multi-million dollar role offered to them. I love Galliano -- I don't know him personally, so I'm only speaking from a design standpoint. And isn't that what it's supposed to be about anyway?
    LOL... "Your purse is ugly!" Them are fightin' words!

  2. It's unbelievable. I checked, thinking that Sidney Toledo might have a dollars and cents reasons for opportunistically dealing so unfairly and coldly but no John's work is money in the bank for LVHM. The irony is beyond words "anti-semitic" ... that sign in the window saying no Jews need apply to be obliterated from memory with the hire of Marc Jacobs. Who could be more Jewish and homosexual.

    Cruelty beyond belief.

  3. They were so quick to toss him aside like damaged goods. Standing by him would have been the right thing to do.

  4. There's always an agenda and one wonders what is motivating Sidney Toledo.

  5. This is quite a brutal way to treat him, but am no worried for him. This is John Galliano after all. To be honest, even though i love Dior, Galliano was 70 % of their fashion worth.


  6. It is brutal. I can't imagine being in that position .. too impossible. The juxtaposition to celebrity reverence. John is innocent, I think - no matter what happened. A bar is not always a sensible place.

  7. Should they decide to reinstate him, I hope he snubs them for a finer place to land! Shall we take bets on which house will proffer from Dior's loss? Guilty or not the man is a genius people!

  8. Yes he is ... Cannot do J'Adore Dior ever again.

    Cannot imagine.

    And I do completely believe that his attacker had low cheap boots and/or a purse!!!

  9. You know, I am not a huge fan, despite recognizing his immense talent. But we were both very much taken aback upon reading about the immediate suspension, it seemed like judge and jury all in one and in a big hurry. Unless there's some aspect of this that no one knows about it seems to us like perhaps there is another agenda at play.

    Your fashion posts are just awesome, I love each and every one.

  10. You are so sweet ... I'm constantly amazed by how fresh your writing is and how beautiful.

  11. If he had said your purse is ugly and was arrested that is a crime; however, as I understand it he has in fact said something like 'dirty jewish face you should be dead', called her a whore repeatedly and told her companion he was a 'f'ing asian bastard and he would kill him'. That's the coles notes version, I'm sure the actual account of events is much, much worse.
    An incredible designer. A colourful character. But zip your lip bud, celebrity ego is out of control.

  12. You're not actually serious, are you? Beep the clothes, the man has shown his true colours and Dior did the right thing to suspend his ignorant self. I don't care how drunk you or what fabulous fashion house you design for, racism is unacceptable. Not only does he share his love for Hitler, he also goes on to tell the women

    "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed."

    This is the person you adore and support? This is the person that think was unfairly suspended? Really? Dior has a responsibility to it's customers and to the investors. The man had to go, and stay gone! These were horrible allegations but this is just evil. I was surprised when people started to take his side before the video was shown, but the fact people still believe in the person is beyond me.

    Who cares if the woman had an ugly bag? Seriously, who cares? The woman's alleged poor taste in no way justifies being verbally abused by anybody. I'm thoroughly shocked by this blog post and the comments.

  13. cupcake, notjustamilla ... To paraphrase something else: what's said in a bar should stay in a bar." At the time I wrote this, sometime after Sidney Toldeo's announcement that Dior would suspend John pending an investigation, apart from wild accusations in which some versions have John yelling about low boots or a cheap purse, which I think is fabulous and appropriate, there was the following which put this back in perspective for me:

    "We had a table at La Perle and John Galliano sat next to us," our eyewitness told us. "He spoke to a couple at a nearby table to say 'Cheers' and they insulted him. An argument started and the police came, so Galliano's bodyguard suggested that they should go to the police station to sort it out. He wasn't 'busted' aggressively by police, it was very quiet and peaceful. I definitely didn't hear him say anything anti-Semitic, or against any religion, it was all very calm."

    The accusations with specificity that the couple or one of them heard John give an anti-Semitic drunk speech was not credible on its face. It's not acceptable anywhere that an employee of a company be suspended (who does such a thing) on the basis of an accusation prior to an investigation. I'll stick with my genuine contempt at John's treatment by Dior - the timing.

    I was not there nor was anyone that I know. John has not been a man to scream insults and has never behaved or expressed any form of racism or anti-Semitism. Again because of that his employer was morally mandated to stand by him ... pending an investigation.

    I've glanced at twitter, before coffee and have dogs who need food and a walk, and seen that there may be a video capturing John's alleged speech.

    As well, I believe that John and his accusers are meeting today and there is an ongoing investigation.

    I cannot without confirmation accept the ugliness that has followed this as fact. I find that very hard to believe and the statements of many friends and people he's worked with clearly portray a man who does not behave or even believe in racism or anti-Semitism.

    I don't know and presume that you don't either truly know what happened in a bar whilst John was drunk. I certainly hope it ends with a soused John muttering about ugly bags. Because that is benign and not that it matters likely quite true and a fabulous story.

    The other is not a fabulous story is it were to be shown to be true. It would be sad and heartbreaking.

    The strange thing is that if someone in a bar is totally soused, well he will likely behave quite badly. My understanding is that John was with his bodyguard/chauffeur drinking quietly when the couple began to berate him. Ruffled, angry and attacked, screeching about ugly hair or a purse seems very fashion-ey and benign. I believe that story but know, unlike Sidney Toledo, that the story is not over.

    In the very sad case that this were true, I know that this is completely out of character for John. Completely. I so hope it didn't happen.

  14. Ah. The video ...

    Indeed. John is another world drunk and it is beyond me. If he were in my family, drunk beyond his ability to be lucid, I'd believe that this is an anomoly and honestly believe that he needs to become sober. That is the absolute truth. I wouldn't get in to whether this is a deep belief of John's because his entire life makes this something out of The Lost Weekend. It's overwhelmingly sad and as wonderful, yes he is, as he is, his life may be out of control.

    I'm very sad to see John alone, drunk and speaking like a madman. That is NOT who he is.

    It's heartbreaking and I, from a Jewish family, would not revile him but would, I promise you, get him sober.

  15. I should have had coffee ... this would have been a tad more coherent.

    The timeline:

    I must reiterate how sad I am for John. This speaks, if genuine, of a terrible need for help.

  16. I think you need a greater measure of help yourself- your incoherence is beyond repair : get a life !

  17. It's honourable that you would want to stand behind someone you knew and respected when only few details were released. We should all be given the benefit of the doubt. However, under the circumstances (evidence in a video that you obviously hadn't seen) a strong message needed to be sent and I respect Dior for having zero tolerance. It's a shame.

  18. I did just see the video and posted the link. The thing is that Sidney Toledo had not seen it and reacted preemptively, which I believe is a horrible thing to do. This is a horrible scandal with pretty damning evidence released sometime last night - the video. John with his attorney will have to answer to this - not sure how long that process takes. It's a horribly sad story.

  19. I strongly disagree with you.

    Sidney Toledo suspending him was the right thing to do. If he had turned out to be the victim of a horrible false accusation (clearly not the case), they should have reinstated him and apologised publicly. If a teacher/lawyer/bus driver/police officer/train operator had done the same thing whilst off-duty on a Saturday night (and before video evidence) they would have been suspended pending review with immediate effect. What makes Galliano any different? Beep the timing, this has nothing to do with Dior and in a lot of ways, nothing to do with Galliano. This is about right and wrong, and society's obligation to protect it's people.

    Also, from a business point of view, Dior would have been utterly stupid to keep him.

    Being drunk doesn't make you an alcoholic so no, I don't buy that 'his life is out of control/he needs help' rubbish. He said those words because that's how he feels. If I heard those words coming from a 95 year old, I'd tolerate (not accept) it. Coming from a worldly man of his age, no way. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Personally, the second I start to justify such behaviour will be a very sad day indeed.

  20. Respect begets Respect and its unfair to say that John slurred words at a couple without the thought of the couple antagonizing John. But your right, lets keep work and play separate, Bottom line, John is an amazing designer and the penalties due to the event should have been dealt with differently.

  21. have videos of him sayin what he did you might want to check the facts before supporting a racist actually came to your blog to leave some nice comments after seeing you on ifb. But never mind

  22. NRC, I posted the video as it became available ... devastated at this.

  23. the name is Sidney Toledano , not toledo !

  24. He indeed made a vast mistake in saying what he said. The level of damage done through a few words have proved quite hard to erase so far.

    He makes beautiful clothes, his haute couture is unrivaled and I feel some of the big supporters of Dior will continue to follow out of love for the design, and not boycott out of principle whether the scandal is still hot or simmering.

    His suspension is necessary for the brand to save face. I suppose time will tell.

  25. notjustanothermilla, I understand your beliefs and don't see it that way.

    John needs help ... this is not just another drunk in a bar whipping out hate speeches. More and more is revealed and sadly he refused help.

    Balmain's designer Christophe Decarin is having troubles now too.

    This is heartbreaking.

    Many people who have known John have spoken out with the same shock and horror because he has always been a kind, gentle man.


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