John Galliano's Fall Collection May Be The Prettiest Thing A Nazi Has Ever Made


Until last week, John Galliano designed for two high-profile labels: Christian Dior and John Galliano. Now, Galliano is out of a job at Dior, and the future of his namesake label is in serious doubt. That’s the wages of being filmed talking about how awesome Hitler was for gassing people to death, it turns out! Editors in Paris were treated to a very, very scaled-back presentation of John Galliano’s fall collection. The head designer himself was absent — he’s believed to be currently at a rehab center in Arizona.

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Sidney Toledano, who condemned Galliano’s anti-Semitic and racist statements in very strong terms before Friday’s Dior show, did attend the presentation. Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, Dior’s parent company, also financially backs the John Galliano line; that relationship is expected to end, given Dior fired Galliano. (And also given the fact that, as Suzy Menkes reported last week, the john Galliano brand barely breaks even.) It’s kind of curious that Toledano chose to show up at this particular show — the Times‘ Eric Wilson interpreted, perhaps generously, Toledano’s presence not as any endorsement of Galliano or vote of confidence in the future viability of his brand, but as “a signal of support for the behind-the-scenes staff members of Mr. Galliano’s atelier.” Also in attendance were Vogue‘s André Leon Talley and Grace Coddington.

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The collection was very beautiful — and I usually find John Galliano’s namesake line to be a cheesier, less sophisticated riff on those ideas he explored so masterfully during his tenure at Dior, like bias-cut lingerie-inspired dresses and 1950s-style suits. Not so this season: if this is in fact the Galliano brand’s swansong (and it seems hard to imagine how it could not be), it is, if nothing else, a tremendous tune. Hilary Alexander of the Telegraph said these clothes “recalled the glory days of Galliano’s early years in Paris.”

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Karlie Kloss, center, who is currently the face of Dior, also took part in the presentation. It seems the Galliano company didn’t have any trouble getting agencies to send them their top models.

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Meanwhile, the latest fashion industry figure to condemn John Galliano is Diane von Furstenberg — whose own mother was an Auschwitz survivor (weirdly, von Furstenberg’s marriage to Prince Egon of Austria joined her to parents-in-law who had attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics as Hitler’s guests). Although she wouldn’t comment on whether or not Dior should have fired him — “That’s not for me to say,” she replied — she did say, “As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, I find what he said was absolutely unacceptable. Having said that, I think he was provoked and he was clearly not in a normal state.” Jean-Paul Gaultier, meanwhile, hopes for Galliano’s speedy return to fashion, because he has an “enormous talent.” “With recordings, people can be made to say things that they did not say,” Gaultier said. “They pronounce some words, but what is the context? The person [speaking to Galliano in the video] seems very assured, knowing very well what she is doing.”

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