John Galliano seeks amends at Jewish event

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It has been four years since Dior sacked John Galliano following anti-Semitic remarks the brand’s chief designer made. Last week, Galliano spoke at a Jewish educational event at the Central Synagogue in London seeking amends for his odious behaviour, which he claimed was onset by alcohol abuse.

“I am an alcoholic, an addict,” he stated, according to The Guardian, “This is in no way an excuse. We alcoholics and we addicts are not responsible for our disease. However, I do take complete responsibility for my recovery and making amends… I get a daily reprieve from the disease and that comes from total abstinence.”

Galliano explained that he “wasn’t living” towards the end of his turn as chief designer, under the pressure of creating 32 collections a year between Dior and his eponymous label. “I think I would be dead”, he added, when answering where he would be had he not been sacked by Dior.

Following accusations of anti-Semitism, back in 2011 a video surfaced of Galliano declaring, “I love Hitler” and telling two women that their parents “would have been gassed”. Since Dior, who has a “zero tolerance policy” for such behaviours, sacked him, Galliano claims he has used the time to move forward. “I used to blame everyone for what happened, but now I bear no resentment. I have fully come to terms with what happened and my part in it.”

After his downfall, the Gibraltar-born designer spent time at the drug rehabilitation centre at the Meadows Clinic in Arizona, United States. He was also fined 6,000 euros (approx £4,310) by a French court for his racist and anti-Semitic tirades.

Rabbi Barry Marcus, with whom Galliano spoke alongside, urged the audience to show the designer some compassion, and that he should not be treated “more harshly” than the “endless list of celebrities” that have made controversial remarks about Jews.

Named chief designer of Maison Margiela at the end of last year, Galliano is at least on his road to redemption in the fashion world, and presented his first Artisanal collection for the Belgian label back in January, and his first ready-to-wear collection in March.

Margiela F15 011 Margiela F15 080

Margiela F15 083 Margiela F15 089

John Galliano’s debut ready-to-wear collection for Maison Margiela, A/W 2015-16


Written by Katherine Beckwith

Katherine is a History of Art student with a keen interest in the history of fashion. Having a previous artistic education, Katherine also has a watchful eye for the emerging trends in modern fashion.

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