Goodbye Galliano

The last John Galliano show for the house of Dior.

For the past six months, the fashion world has been consumed by speculation about who will replace the disgraced Galliano at Christian Dior. Will it be Riccardo Tisci, the designer of Givenchy? Or Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz? Or the ubiquitous Marc Jacobs? On a recent summer day in Milan Franca Sozzani the editor in chief of Italian Vogue, suggested a truly novel idea.

“Hire back John Galliano,” she said with a little smile. She knew this might get her in trouble. After all, Galliano was fired after being caught on camera making anti-Semitic remarks at a bar and on Thursday was fined €6,000 (more than $8,000) by a French court. “Look,” she went on, “I understand their point of view. I understand they couldn’t just say, ‘Bad boy! We forgive you! Come back!’ But it’s really a pity. And I will never believe he believed what he said. I think he was drunk and alone in a bar. When people go crazy, they go crazy. It’s a human case, it’s not political or religious. He didn’t kill anyone!”

This was dangerous territory for a woman whose magazine relies heavily on Dior (and its corporate bosses at LVMH) for advertising, but Sozzani, 61, is known for being a provocateur. In the 23 years she has been at the helm of Italian Vogue, she has operated the magazine as a laboratory for wild and often hilarious imagery that pokes at her own industry—a wry take you would seldom find in more earnest American fashion magazines.

After seeing the video of the show I must agree that Galliano still belongs at Dior.

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