In news that you might find shocking or not even remotely surprising at all, John Galliano is once again going to try to make a go of this whole fashion designer thing.
It was just two years ago when the creative genius publicly and quickly fell from his pedestal in the fashion world after he was found guilty of anti-Semitism after some horrific remarks he said in Paris one night — most notably, “I love Hitler.”
He was fined for his cruel statements, and although Dior kicked him to the curb, as the world wondered exactly who outside of some backwoods Aryan Nation type gang would actually say such a thing, the fashion world remained divided on whether or not that was the right thing to do. Anna Wintour, among many, stayed on his team because as we all know it’s OK to be anti-Semitic as long as you’re drunk. Them’s the rules.
For the next three weeks, Galliano will be in Oscar de la Renta‘s New York studio. As de la Renta explained to WWD:
I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative. I think John is doing all the right things. Everyone in life deserves a second chance, especially someone as talented as John. I think that life is about forgiving and helping people.
But does Galliano deserve a second chance? Should we forgive geniuses for their fuck-ups, especially when they’re due to alcoholism and the descension “into the madness of the disease” as Galliano explained?
No one can argue Galliano’s talent. Even if his wild creations are not what you personally consider aesthetically easy on the eyes, he is a genius. All geniuses, as history has taught us, have their demons and addictions, but whether or not he can be forgiven, especially in a post-Holocaust world where millions of Jews were killed at the hands of the man Galliano claimed to “love,” is where the argument lies.
Galliano may be sober, he may have admitted to the hurt he caused so many, especially those within the Jewish communisty, and he may even grieve everyday of his life for the comments he said even if only in mourning the loss of his place in the fashion world, but the damage has been done. Look at Mel Gibson. His career will never recover; I was surprised to even see him at the Golden Globes the other night.
But apparently the world moves on, and if fashion can forgive John Galliano, should we, too?