Monday, February 28, 2011

John Galliano: Genius, Showman, Racist?

My day started today by reading a tweet from my friend Emma Jordan over at ifashion, about whether she should post the video of suspended Dior designer, John Galliano's drunken rant that has shocked and saddened the fashion world. I understood her dilemma. I have held off commenting or posting about this situation. Mostly because at first I really didn't want it to be true. Also, because I abhor any and all bigotry and couldn't reconcile this with my absolute favourite designer in the world. "Noooooo," I wanted to shout to the world, "don't destroy my idols." And yet, there is little to mitigate these circumstances and face them, I must.
And so it is with relief that I read one of my other idols, Hillary Alexander's piece on the situation. With both compassion and sternness, she speaks sense. She reminds us that, no matter what, John Galliano has given us fashion-lovers so much, and so we must support him when he needs us. Not condone or enable his behaviour, but with the love we have for him, pick him up and show him a better way so that we might be able to bask in the glory of his work once more. 
We know that racist, bigoted behaviour is unacceptable in ANY circumstances. On this I am immovable. But as John Galliano's life crashes and burns, hopefully redemption and healing can take its place. This is about as close to religion as I come. Because I simply can't set aside the times that John Galliano's work has moved me to tears, inspired me to smiles and filled my heart with a joy I have only rarely experienced. I just can't.

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