Less than five days after the first news of Galliano’s booze-fueled incident broke, the 50-year-old designer’s career lies in shambles. His dismissal from Christian Dior today has, for the most part, garnered approval from a fashion community stunned and horrified by his drunken anti-Semitic remarks caught on video. But it has also been met with widespread disbelief, sadness, and pity.
In an article published this afternoon, the International Herald Tribune’s Suzy Menkes gave voice to the conflicted reactions that many fashion industry insiders — Giorgio Armani, Franca Sozzani, and even Chanel Iman among them — have attempted to describe. Her piece chronicles Galliano’s work since his graduation from London’s Central Saint Martins in 1984, exalting his “magpie imagination and his ability to turn his ideas into extravagant hats or dainty shoes” and noting that his leadership helped Dior “to break the billion-dollar barrier.” Menkes reminds those who would dismiss Galliano’s entire career based on the incidents revealed since last Friday — “odious” that they may be, to quote Dior’s official statement this morning — would be a mistake.