Galliano’s Fall in Spring


Galliano’s Fall in Spring

Just a few days ahead of Dior’s Fall-Winter 2011-2012,ready-to-wear collection scheduled for showing on March 4 at the Paris Fashion Week,its creative head John Galliano has been suspended by the luxury house.

The British designer,who has been with Dior since 1996,was allegedly arrested in a Parisian café for verbally assaulting a couple. His remarks were reportedly racist and anti-Semitic. “Dirty Jewish Face,you should be dead,” and “Asian bastard,I will kill you” is what an inebriated Galliano reportedly uttered to a couple,one of whom was Jewish,the other Asian.

Thanks to its smart,celeb-soaked and media-focussed marketing strategies,Dior is now one of the most visible luxury brands in “Asian” India.

LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey),the conglomerate that owns Dior has left no stone unturned in cultivating India as a market and elite Indians into its customers. Indian fashion glossies and journalists have raved about Galliano’s unmatched charisma and fashion shimmer (yours faithfully included).

Dior is also one of the most featured brand on Indian fashion covers (since it launched in 2006,it has been on more than a dozen covers a year,with 20 in 2010). The first choice of celebs,Dior now walks red carpets in India,its head held high.

“It’s good for the image of Indian stars to be seen in Dior,” fashion hacks are told.

Sure,so privileged India loves Dior. Now what? With maverick,genius,whimsical,terribly talented,terrific fashionista Galliano suspended for allegedly thinking of us as Asian bastards in his inebriated mind,will it be tricky for Dior devotees — especially Bollywood — to stick to their proclamations of love for the brand. Will they shift their gaze stealthily away from Dior?

I hope not. If anything,we must laud the brand more than ever before for the clear,unmitigated stand it has taken on a globally sensitive issue.

“Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour,” Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano said in a statement. “Pending the results of the inquiry,Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities.”

If it is difficult for any fashion follower,writer,critic,designer or fashion house in the world to imagine Dior without Galliano,suspending Galliano could not have been the easiest decision for Dior itself to make. Dior is reportedly LVMH boss Bernard Arnault’s favourite brand. Yet,for the luxury house to lose its face and yet keeps its faith (“zero tolerance for racist words or behaviour”) is more than admirable. It should be reason enough to remain loyal to Dior.

If fashion is about self-belief,Dior has proved it does,with or without its fashion savant Galliano. Whether the world likes the creations of Dior’s next (if Galliano’s suspension leads to his formal exit) creative designer or not will be another story.