Posted by: Rachel Iwaniec
Where in the world is John Galliano?
After two years in exile, John Galliano, recognized as one of the great talents in fashion design, is trying out a new title as a professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. Taking the time to lick his wounds, following a very public trial and dismissal from his position at the Dior fashion house, Galliano is not starting from step one again. Serving as a creative consultant for Oscar de la Renta during New York’s fashion week this past February, the designer remained behind the curtains at the end of the fashion show. While everyone knew of his contribution to the collection, Galliano played the role of anonymous consultant, watching the show from backstage. No big finale, no extravagant outfit.
Similar to Mr. de la Renta, Parsons is taking a lot of grief from its students and the public. Galliano’s anti-semetic remarks, captured by an onlooker at a restaurant in Paris, have continued to follow him through this process of “resurrection”. The question is can a cat really change its stripes? I don’t have the answer, but I must say that it will be interesting to see how Mr. Galliano takes on his new role.
Parsons’s president, David Van Zandt, expressed support for the school’s decision to employ Galliano, stating, “we believe our students can learn from his talents and achievements as a designer and from his personal failures”. He also reassured students that “it is a condition of our agreement to host the workshop that it include frank discussion of Mr. Galliano’s career”.
All I can say is, wouldn’t we all like to be a fly on the wall when that discussion takes place?