Today WWD heralded LVMH supreme Bernard Arnault as their Man of the Year, thanks to his Bulgari deal; relaunch of a new leather house (Moynat); shake-up of his exec ranks; and willingness to let Dior be designer-less until he found the right person to replace John Galliano – who was fired in March. Generally, I agree with their choice, mostly because of Arnault’s smarts in taking advantage of other luxury brands’ scardey-cat timidity in the face of economic crisis (they see consumer slowdown; he sees opportunity to grab market share). My only question is about Dior. I think this is becoming a problem.
The Dior third quarter 2011 results are in and, contrary to what everyone predicted back in March when Dior designer John Galliano was fired for saying bad stuff, they are good. In fact, they are very good. What do we make of this? The conclusions, it seems to me, are pretty obvious.
John Galliano in January 2011. Image by Getty.
What’s next for John Galliano, after a French court ruled today that the ex-Christian Dior designer was guilty of hate speech and fined him €6,000?
The designer lost his job and his eponymous company this year amid the controversy that emerged when a couple complained to French police that he had made anti-Semitic comments at them in a Paris café.
But Mr Galliano’s rehabilitation has already begun, thanks to Kate Moss, who stuck by him as her wedding dress designer, and US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who put a picture of Mr Galliano with Ms Moss in her September issue, which is the largest of the year, and included a spread on the wedding. He has been to rehab, and is staying quiet. I think the biggest challenge will be finding someone to back him in whatever he does next, given his track record, and the fact that, in most news stories hereon out, he will be referred to as, “John Galliano, the design genius found guilty of anti-Semitism in Paris in 2011.” Not exactly the clause anyone wants attached to their name. Read more
Today Christian Dior effectively opened the couture season with a “team” effort from the atelier under Bill Gaytten, John Galliano’s long term design director. There are earlier shows, but it’s the first big one.
A nice way to describe the result is to say it was a really good example of why a house needs a designer. Or more specifically, a point of view; an idea about what, exactly, it is doing and why. Read more
OK, John Galliano made her actual wedding dress, which was pretty, but also pretty unsurprising (inspired by the beautiful and damned Zelda Fitzgerald, who was also the theme of Kate Moss’s famous 30th birthday celebration). But – and this a big But — Stella McCartney made six – count ‘em! – dresses for the Kate Moss wedding extravaganza that began yesterday and is continuing through the weekend. Now, who do you think is going to get the most press pictures sent round the world, and thus the most profits?
It’s shaping up to be a big weekend for British fashion. On one hand we have Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, doing her best to represent every level of British brand available on the Canadian leg of her North American tour; on the other we have Kate Moss’s wedding. After all, just think about what it means for a designer every time they appear in a brand.
Fashion, I understand, is a seductive target. It’s hard to resist attacking such a big, glossy, seemingly superficial industry. But please, can we stop now? Yesterday, reading yet another giant treatise (this one by Tom Sykes in the Sunday Telegraph) blaming fashion for John Galliano’s descent into addiction, I wanted to rip my hair out. Come on, guys. Can we get a little perspective here?
John Galliano appears before a Paris court – AFP
And so John Galliano’s trial has started in Paris, and one question has been answered: would the designer appear in court in full-fledged character-bedecked glory – as, say, Napoleon, or an urchin, or the artist Rene Grau, as he did after many of his most famous shows for his former brand, Christian Dior – or would he play himself?
Mr Galliano is standing trial for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks to customers in a Paris café this year. Read more
Watching “L’Amour Fou”, the documentary about Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Berge, and the $484 million sale of their stuff that opens today in theatres in the US, it’s hard not to think about John Galliano, and his rather spectacular implosion last March. indeed, it’s hard not to think that this film is as much about eulogising an era that is no more — that of the designer as monstre sacre — as a relationship. Or maybe they are one and the same?
The Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world is out and guess what: there’s only ONE fashion person on it: Tom Ford. Read more