John Galliano Says Researching Rudolf Nureyev Made Him Racist


John Galliano continued his quest for public absolution last night on Charlie Rose’s television show. The disgraced Christian Dior designer was fired in 2011 after it came to light that he had, on at least three occasions, hurled racist and anti-Semitic invective at strangers in a Paris bar. One of those occasions was infamously caught on video, and Galliano was prosecuted and convicted under France’s strict anti-hate speech laws.

Rose pressed Galliano on one point in particular: yes, he was drunk and high. Galliano has admitted as much, and completed rehab, and says he is now sober. But why, instead of just being a regular old drunk and high asshole, was he a drunk and high and racist asshole? People get drunk and behave belligerently in bars all the time. Sometimes they get arrested for it. But getting drunk and breaking into, “I love Hitler…people like you would be dead, your mothers, your forefathers, you’d all be fucking gassed” is considerably more unusual. Where did the instinct towards racism come from? Galliano said:

I was in a blackout … I’ve since discovered that one is a blackout drinker, what happens is that it can release paranoia of such a stage that it can trigger frustrations from childhood. And due to that, it can trigger a self-defense mechanism. Now, having had quite a tough time in school, and being subjected, persecuted, bullied, called all sorts of names, as children do, and living a lie, really, because I was gay but I couldn’t admit that at home, honestly I couldn’t escape.
Also, around the time of that event, I was heavily researching for my John Galliano menswear collection, which was inspired by the life of Rudolph Nureyev, who was an anti-Semite. When I research, I really go into it. Where does she live? Does she read by candlelight or gaslight, the color of her hair dye, the scent on her breath — is it gin? — the powder of her makeup; it helps me to create. It helps me to create a character… I’m living it, I’m breathing it. I’m not making excuses at all, but this is the work I’ve done since that event, to try and find out what happened.

Ah, yes, the old “I was channeling Rudolf Nureyev” explanation. That…makes total sense. I mean, we watched Triumph of the Will in college and couldn’t stop goose-stepping for like a week. Happens to everybody, right? [The Cut]

Yesterday afternoon, the bill that would extend child-labor protections to models under the age of 18 passed the House. Having already cleared the New York State Senate, the bill is set to become law. Once it goes into effect, clients and agencies that work with models under the age of 18 will have to tighten their record-keeping, obtain permits in advance to work with children, pay a percentage of the models’ income into escrow accounts the child will control upon the age of majority, and provide for tutors and chaperones on many jobs. This won’t make it impossible for young models to get work, but it will make their schedules more predictable and lessen the pressure on those girls to drop out of school in order to work. It will be interesting to see how this change affects New York fashion week this September. [Fashionista]

Steven Kolb of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, meanwhile, cautiously welcomed the new law. “I don’t think it is that difficult,” he said. “It is a process that people are going to have to become familiar with, but fashion is an industry that has adapted and will adapt.” [On The Runway]

Here’s video footage of a “well-dressed thief” distracting a clerk at the Tiffany’s flagship and making off with $100,000 worth of necklaces. [Fashionista]

Mark Tallowin says he started designing handbags after teaching himself leatherwork. This is his first collection. Tallowin explains his approach to design is influenced primarily by respect for functionality, and the end user:

“As well as my main business, I also do repairs of other bags, as a way of keeping track of what other designers are doing. There are so many beautiful bags that have inherent structural faults, and they can never remove those faults because that would mean changing the design. What good is a bag if it’s broken, or if you can’t fill it because you’re worried about tearing it? My bags are so resilient that hopefully they will never need to be repaired, but if they do, I make sure it can be done. That’s not something you can say for a lot of handbags. Other brands tend to line them, which can hide off-key workmanship. I try to be very transparent about what I’m doing, where the stitching is, and what the construction methods are, so you can actually see how it all works.”

[The Cut]

• Target’s annual shareholder meeting was marred by protests over the retailer’s treatment of former employees of the Canadian discount chain Zellers, whose locations Target acquired in 2011 for $1.8 billion. Most of the stores are being converted into Targets, but Canadian retail unions say 25,000 Zellers workers were fired in the process. Target says it has hired “hundreds” of former Zellers employees. [WWD]

• Kate Moss apparently shot a cover of Playboy, as rumored. Hairstylist Oribe, who says he worked on the shoot, confirmed it. [Refinery29]

• Men are painting their nails all kinds of pretty colors. [NYTimes]

Vogue has an interview with Hood By Air designer and rising fashion phenom Shayne Oliver. HBA is a favorite of A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Mykki Blanco, and Rihanna. Oliver, who dropped out of both N.Y.U. and F.I.T., learned to sew from his seamstress grandmother, and says he is inspired by Comme des Garçons, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Martin Margiela. HBA makes mostly gender-neutral streetwear. Oliver explains:

“A lot of the clothing is menswear, but it’s more like powerwear. It’s about exuding power and fluidity. I’m not really interested in unisex, per se. But if this person wants to give off an energy of power, then Hood By Air is for them.”


• Claire Waight Keller of Chloé says she believes in “sister style,” which she explains thusly:

“I have a sister, but sister style is when you find someone who really understands the way you dress and they love dressing in a similar way. For me, Chloé is a lot about that. Everything that we do here at the brand is making women feel like, ‘Oh my God, they know exactly the way I want to dress.’ It’s finding the pant that fits the right way, those layering pieces that are just right — sheer, but not too sheer — the jacket that fits and sits the way you want it to, and the kind of things that you would expect a best friend to tell you.”

[The Cut]

• Zac Posen is launching a line for David’s Bridal called Truly Zac Posen. The first collection will hit stores next year, and cost $850 to $1,350. [USAToday]

• Rag & Bone nabbed Léa Seydoux for its next women’s wear campaign and Michael Pitt for its men’s. [WWD]

• Rita Ora is the next face of Material Girl, Madonna’s Macy’s line. [The Cut]

• Onetime Material Girl face Taylor Momsen, who was dropped by IMG two years ago, is now represented by Next Model Management. [Grazia]

• Fashionista’s Lauren Sherman asks, where have all the fashion critics gone? Also, everyone even slightly interested in fashion should be reading Kennedy Fraser. [Fashionista]

• Amy Odell thinks the era of the personal style blogger is ending, because pictures of people wearing clothes hold little inherent fascination in an era of increasingly diverse writing-based fashion and beauty sites, like Into the Gloss and Business of Fashion. [Buzzfeed]

• The Aesthete has a great story today about the photographer Deborah Turbeville. [The Aesthete]

• The perfume giant Coty goes public today. With a share price of $17.50, its I.P.O. values the company at $7 billion. [WWD]

• Mulberry, which recently lost its creative director, Emma Hill, had a bad year: in the 12 months to March 31, the company saw sales fall year-on-year by 2% and profits fall by 26%, to $29.5 million. [WWD]

• The Times has a nice remembrance of Annabel Tollman, the stylist who died last week, apparently of a blood clot. Tollman’s former Interview colleague Joanna Della Valle was among those who offered remembrances:

During long rounds of appointments in Milan, Ms. Della Valle recalled, Ms. Tollman and Ingrid Sischy, then Interview’s editor, often sat in the back seat of the chauffeured van, belting out Broadway show tunes. When Malcolm Carfrae, global communications director at Calvin Klein, met Ms. Tollman in 1990s London, she would, he wrote in an e-mail, “come to my apartment on Sundays, cook a roast chicken and we’d down a few bottles of wine and dance on my sofa.”
For the designer Peter Som, the public displays of grief after Ms. Tollman’s death were easily explained. Outside the industry, he said, it’s hard for people to understand the crazy nuances of a business where jungle law renders decency and kindness suspect. “Nice is not interesting, nice is boring,” Mr. Som added. “But Annabel was enveloped in this sort of fairy dust of genuine niceness. She proved that you could have this great personal identity and not have to wrap it up in cattiness.”


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