I have been undecided on whether to blog about the swift career demise of John Galliano, partly because of all the media tittle-tattle racing around the internet and partly because I have loved his designs for a very long time. Yesterday I received a free humongous bottle of Miss Dior Cherie thanks to participation with a cosmetics company. As I unwrapped the mystery bottle and saw what it was I had to laugh wryly at the irony.
I’m not really interested in blogging about the wrongs of the situation; there are many and he was a fool, on more than one occasion it would seem. As the case gets referred to trial I only hope it is dealt with fairly despite full police transcripts being published by Figaro.
I’m more interested in the repercussions within the fashion world on what will happen next. Dior is without a head designer, one that turned the fashion house from being dowdy, boring and tacky to a powerhouse of profitability which still retained some tackiness…well you have to appeal to label whores with too much money to spend. However, Galliano injected some much needed daring and interest into its clothing whilst still maintaining his much more interesting own name brand.
First is what happens with his own label as it is also owned by LVMH. It apparently barely breaks even so will they drop it completely or will we have a Jil Sander situation with the named designer losing rights to their own, err, name?
Who will replace Galliano? Quite frankly I don’t care as I cannot stand either Arnault or LVMH so anything that rocks the boats of this man and an all engulfing company is fine by me. I do pity the designer who does take over and who is bound into releasing collection after collection that stays within Arnault’s restrictive vision of continuing the ‘Dior aesthetic’. The reality of this for Galliano was getting locked into sending the same Dior woman down the runway for the past five years whilst getting increasingly personally erratic. However, replaced he must be but I sincerely hope Tisci at Givenchy and Elbaz at Lanvin steer well clear; they’re both doing great jobs and clearly enjoy being at their houses. Aside from these two and Lacroix who is just too plain individual and cool to be working for Arnault there’s hardly anyone else with the vision, experience, creativity and doggedness to be churning out eight million collections a year for Dior.
Lastly, I’m interested in the repercussions for the industry. Galliano was clearly not well and what with McQueen’s suicide last year, it needs to start looking after its designers better. Will this happen? No, probably not, and that is the greatest sadness of all.