The trial of John Galliano came to an end today as he was found guilty of making anti-semetic statements by a court in Paris and handed a suspended fine of €6000. Galliano had faced a six month prison sentence and a fine of up to €20,000.
Despite walking free from court and avoiding a fine as long as he stays out of trouble for the next two years due to the court’s acceptance that his remorse and attempts to treat his addictions were genuine, Galliano hasn’t escaped the consequences of his actions.
Within days of two separate complaints being made to Police about his racist rants, a video surfaced on YouTube that showed the intoxicated designer proclaiming “I love Hitler” before going on to inform the women on the table next to him that “People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be ****ing gassed.” after mistaking them as Jewish. This video was quickly picked up by the media and Galliano’s career began to unravel.
Within the next 48 hours Natalie Portman – the face of the Miss Dior Cherie perfume and Jewish – had publicly asked Dior to remove Galliano as their Chief Designer, which the company quickly did. He was also removed from his position at his own label ‘John Galliano’ which is 92% owned by Dior.
Shortly afterwards the designer admitted that he was suffering with addictions to alcohol, valium and sleeping pills and insisted that he couldn’t remember any of the events that led to the accusations against him, including the conversation that was recorded.
Friends quickly jumped to his defence and blamed the fashion industry, in particular Dior, for his breakdown.
Galliano flew to the USA and entered a rehab facility for treatment for his addictions. Whilst there he went back to his roots in order to design the wedding dress for his close friend Kate Moss. He later described that project as being his “creative rehab”.
Since Dior began proceedings to dismiss Galliano in March, they have been under immense pressure to name a designer to succeed him – particularly due to the timing of Galliano’s dismissal just days before his latest collection was due to be shown at Paris Fashion Week. Six months later and the fashion house is still without anyone at the helm – though names linked to the job include Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci.
The reason for the delay in naming his successor could be down to the complications of dissolving Galliano’s contract under difficult French laws or in an attempt to avoid overshadowing the current collection. An announcement may still be months away, though today’s guilty verdict could help the dissolution of the previous designer’s employment contracts.
Galliano was Chief Designer and Creative Director at Dior for fifteen years. Because of this lawsuit he has lost not only that job, but also control of his own label.
Setting aside his addictions, recovery is going to be difficult for the designer despite his public apologies. Though the fashion industry may be willing to look past his personal troubles and focus on his talent, the public are not. At this point, Galliano’s career remains in tatters.