Fashion has a complicated relationship with bigotry, whether it’s faux-provocative blackface editorials, runway shows starring exclusively white models or cultural appropriation run amok (would you like some Mickey Rooney with your American Apparel “conical Asian hat“?).
Therefore, it came as no surprise when more than a few fashion luminaries stepped forward to defend former Christian Dior creative director John Galliano in the wake of his drug and alcohol-fueled rant. Jean Paul Gaultier, Olivier Zahm and Franca Sozzani have all taken sides with the troubled designer.
Now they may add Manolo Blahnik to their ranks. He said:
“Franca Sozzani once said something about John Galliano that I thought was perfect… She said that ‘Dior’s solution and salvation would be to bring back that man,’ — and I agree. Of course he would never do that after being so badly treated. What he said was horrific, but said under the influence of drugs and alcohol — that is no reason to destroy talent. I last saw John at Kate [Moss's] wedding, he didn’t touch a drink — and there was plenty around. He had a great sense of self-dignity, which was wonderful to see. He looked so sad though.”
We’re a little unclear how Galliano was “badly treated” by the house that groomed him to superstardom. In case you need reminding, here are some things he said that led to Dior’s supposed mistreatment.