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Galliano revolt: vive la maison Dior

Jessica Brown

John Galliano’s spectacular demise and inevitable sacking from Christian Dior jostled with Colonel Gaddafi for space on the front pages, such was the shock at the fall from grace of such a talented British-trained designer.

John Galliano’s spectacular demise and inevitable sacking from Christian Dior jostled with Colonel Gaddafi for space on the front pages, such was the shock at the fall from grace of such a talented British-trained designer.

Whether Galliano was filmed making anti-Semitic remarks unawares and was just “acting out a part” as some conspiracy theorists suggest,

his behaviour was deplorable regardless of his late apology issued as Drapers went to press. But his contribution to fashion (to date) should be recognised in all of its (mostly) technicolour glory. His bias-cut dresses spawned a thousand copies in the 1990s, while his cheeky humour has done much to influence streetwear. His showmanship and ability to reference a myriad of cultures (not least the French Revolution) has also kept the industry inspired for the past 15 years.

But no talent is bigger than a brand like Dior. The French house will live on for another 65 years - it survived beyond the death of its founder after all - and, as the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity. Sarah Burton’s promotion at Alexander McQueen following the designer’s suicide has proven that in the right hands, every label has longevity. Even the “irreplaceable” Tom Ford was soon forgotten at Gucci.

It would be good to see an internal promotion at Dior, or failing that Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci’s feminine handwriting would offer a fine replacement (he dressed Cate Blanchett for the Oscars this week, see p6).

Galliano is unlikely to disappear from view (or to rehab) for long. While it remains unclear as to the ownership of his namesake label (LVMH is an investor), his many relationships with the fashion powers that be mean he will be undoubtedly supported through a Kate Moss-style comeback.

Jessica Brown Editor

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