ACT OF CONTRITION: THE RETURN OF GALLIANO
by Jeremy Danté
in the fashion industry, there are no guarantees. the now cliched line from the now sub-par reality tv show project runway states the truth, though rather in articulately. “one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.” in this statement alone, one would think it’s that simple. that there are no explanations, that there are no layers to peel back. all false. there are calculated moves that happen in fashion, and in many image driven industries. beyond that, there are some things that simply cannot be calculated. beyond publicity and closer to the backroom discussions of fashion politics and executive board meetings comes the real truths. those truths are almost as ruthless and unforgiving as a casting agent overlooking a model who missed her call time.
but as fashion becomes less about creativity, and more about the monetizing of style; what is there left to say of galliano. a celebrated return for an undoubtedly talented artist. an artist of design, of beauty and of vision. but with all things balanced, one has to question. does the root of such great design come a lacking formulation of structure? of beauty, is there not an equally sinister, ugly side? does that vision seem short sighted by way of lacking the ability to see ahead to the consequences of one’s actions. while fashion continues to push boundaries of color lines with model castings, does the inclusion of one figure seemingly push all these efforts three steps back instead of encouraging progression?
it was announced today that john galliano, previously ousted creative director of christian dior, is not set to take the helm at maison martin margiela. no doubt a qualified candidate through proven skill, if even only looking at his work at dior. but this move seemingly attempts to remove margiela from it’s own DNA of anonymity. for several years, many have questioned even the existence of an actual creative direction, that’s how severly the house was shrouded in mystery. galliano is the type of designer that demands all forms of drama, in press and in design. his succession into dior was orchestrated with the help of anna wintour. and while there has been a long cooling off period for the designer, is now the right time?
they say there is no better time than the present, which may be true. but they also say that some things take time- and in using such phrases to annotate circumstantial periods of career, celebrity and impactful works of art in the world, i’d say it’s a case-by-case type of thing. anti-semitism is almost an end all, be all. this is not a topic that we haven’t covered before. but with galliano’s announced return. the celebration seems tainted. it’s almost like a holding period of sorts. this opportunity is the equivalent of a house arrest, or probation- like a criminal, you kind of wait to monitor such progress but with limited access. all in all, i won’t take this as an opportunity to school you on the history of margiela, or the history of galliano. but i will cite this as an opportunity to set the marker. with his design debut for the house scheduled for january, this post will be one in a series which will catalog galliano’s steps from here, to the course in which notable events may lead.
explore the jeremydante.com archives
for past works on galliano