|A/W 2008 - beautiful, non ?|
The press is a funny beast. Our source of information on all things current and yet as I age, that increasingly familiar angle, 'scepticism', starts to creep in a little more regularly and the need to read between the lines becomes more essential. The Wire, probably one of the greatest television series to come out of America in the last decade, demonstrates the ripple effects of the power our newspapers can wield and so it is with some sadness that I read of the 'demise' of the great John Galliano.
His is old news really, yesterdays fish and chip paper but for him and the fashion business it is a sad time. Accused of verbal abuse and anti-semitic remarks, Galliano has been stripped of his crown by the very people who put him there. He is a fool and a mess. His behaviour is one of a man teetering on the edge, attempting to jump but hoping someone might catch him and they have but in the hands of the press he didn't find an enveloping arm, instead he has been stripped and flogged and now he finds himself being held up as a public example to all.
I have no doubt that Galliano had been a handful for his team at Dior for sometime and most likely a headache for the bigwigs at LVMH. Substance abuse had become his daily caffeine and without the guidance of his loyal friend and designer, Stephen Robinson , who had, over the two decades of working together, become his right and left hand, dying in 2007 of a heart attack, Galliano' direction had become increasingly aimless. Add to that the death of two others close to him, Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen and Galliano could be forgiven for some serious misfiring. Maybe LVMH were looking for an opportunity like this so they could rid themselves of the very beast they had helped to create but more likely they have had a team of people mopping up his verbal detritus for a long time, however on this occasion there was no time to hide the mess. Having been caught red handed on the camera of his accusers (who, if you have seen the clip, appear to be goading a drunken fool,) he sealed his own fate and LVMH, the powerhouse that owns Dior, could do nothing but shut the door on him. The press were on to him like dogs and no upstanding establishment, whose money is tied up in selling the beautiful life, would want to stand up and defend the accused.
What will become of him? How does an artist - because that is what he is, unquestionably - go on from here, once the court case has past sentence? His behaviour is the reflection of a man who has burnt out, producing over a dozen different collections a year, addressing ad campaigns, perfume launchs, increasingly theatrical shows and the continued pursuit for the 'new' in a world that celebrates nothing deeper than the exterior. How do you come back to the ring when the audience who once applauded also vilified and distanced themselves?
For me John Galliano was never a barometer of what was current and fresh but instead continued to remind me of how a true artistic designer works. They are consumed by their art and penniless or loaded with gold, collections appeared, dripping in drama and it is because of that, I hope he will return, no doubt heralded by the same people that rushed to damn him. He was stupid, drunk and way out of line but for a moment I can spare him the time to try and understand. A perfect citizen he ain't but forgiveness we can.
|Over indulged me thinks...|