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Anti-Semitic Public outburst, Media and, Power in the 21st Century: John Galliano's fall from Grace.

Hassaan Ahmed

What is anti-semitic? Hostile to or prejudiced against Jewish people, right? During his final days of the much-anticipated unveiling of Dior Fall 2011-12 womenswear collection, John Galliano's public anti-semitic outbursts in a Parisian cafe downstairs from his apartment and two arrondissements away from the master's Dior Headquarters on Avenue Montaigne caused a public scene-not so much anticipated! Late Carla Sozzani, visionary director of Vogue Italia said."Dior will be pity without John Galliano!"

"John Galliano found guilty of racist and antisemitic abuse"( The Guardian)," Christian Dior sacked John Galliano for "odious behavior" after he was accused of making antisemitic and racist insults in a drunken rant. The flamboyant Briton, who was the haute couture house's creative director for 15 years, was under police investigation.

Dior said it had a policy of "zero tolerance" towards antisemitism. It suspended Galliano after he was arrested when a couple complained he insulted them in a Paris bar. Galliano, 50, denied making anti-semitic remarks, and detectives said they had no third-party witnesses. But a video surfaced as an amazing grace of Galliano declaring on another occasion that "I love Hitler" and telling two women their parents "would have been gassed". There is no doubt about the creative powers that John Galliano posses in the fashion game. Evidence to the stance was served in 2003 after recently returning from a three-week trip to China and Japan, John Galliano staged a Christian Dior couture show that smashed cultural boundaries in a spectacle of gargantuan theatricality. Sweeping, multicolored volumes of fabric that mixed East and West, ancient and modern, were showcased amid appearances from Chinese dancers and circus performers, who flew along the runway in death-defying feats of athleticism.

In Galliano’s hands, the vivid colors and patterns of Chinese costume and Japanese kimonos got transformed into some of the hugest clothes ever invented. Models, almost completely submerged in cocooning swaths of brocade, taffeta and, exploding chiffon flounces, teetered along on vertiginous platforms. Mixed up in the melee were pastel-colored marabou feathers—Galliano’s homage to England’s Queen Mother—18th-century hoopskirts and deliberately sleazy vinyl (just to add a contradictory jolt of modernity). If that isn't command of Peking Opera, Romanticism, cultural amalgamation and, wild-side! I don't know what is. (see pictures)

(Finale John Galliano for Dior couture 2007-All rights reserved)

One could digress further for eternity to display the elaborate features of his creative knowledge. But he evidently became an anti-semitic. But Bernard Arnault- CEO and owner of LVMH( louis-Vutition-Moet-Hennessy) said clearly in a press conference along with Sydney Toledano (CEO of Dior), "Galliano will never return to Dior." The aftermath- He denied claims, the video served as evidence, he was fired, fined and, out of the fashion world. In an interview with Charlie Rose of CNN after his stint at the rehab, John blamed this all on the constant workload to produce 8 brilliant collections season after season and, on the drugs, alcohol addiction that came with it. Being a firm believer in second chances, He improved. He was appointed for a season to assist Oscar De La Renta in his couture collection- A deal brokered by Anna Wintour ( CEO of Vogue). In early 2014 he was appointed the chief designer of Maison Margiela- another giant in the fashion game with de-constructionist motto and, upcycling approach to high-end couture/ artisanal collections. All was good and still is good. Bringing this odyssey of a tell-tale of global anti-semitic outburst and its aftermath serves a purpose to Palestine's crying mothers. (see picture)

( Gaza burning-Herald Tribune)

The global silence of the UN and, other peace organizations over Gaza is worrisome because a lot more than comments is happening there. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that an end to seven days of hostilities with Gaza fighters was not imminent, despite diplomatic moves to restore calm. Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” from Gaza’s Hamas rulers and its offensive on the Palestinian enclave would “take time”, he said in a televised address on Sunday – the deadliest day of Israeli air raids since the latest escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Such comments from a global leader are totally anti-Humanistic! The Media's trends and its powers to set them is truly a double edged sword. Will the Palestinians make their case in a much filtered and censored media? Only time will tell whether Netanyahu will be the new Galliano or not.

About the author: Hassaan Ahmed is a rising junior at LUMS majoring in Physics and Chemistry. Beyond research, he likes to watch current news, all shows of the Paris fashion week, play the violin, listening to classical music, exploring food places and, traveling.


49 views2 comments


This was so interesting to read because the same forces that lead people to oppose oppression of any sort are usually the ones left out of play to suit the people who use such forces. Selective activism at its best, and racism at its worst. I thoroughly enjoyed this Hassaan!


Nicely written!

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