John Galliano was once at the very top of the fashion world. He was head designer at Christian Dior until a fateful February night back in 2011, when he was arrested after allegedly going on an anti-Semitic tirade in a Paris bar. After a video was received of Galliano going on a similar tirade in the same bar a few months previous, Dior announced that he would be dismissed from his position as head designer.
A decorated and accomplished fashion designer, Galliano has received multiple British Designer of the Year awards as well as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award, among others. But even his career could not protect him from the badly damaged reputation his rant invoked.
This year, chatter has been predicting a “comeback” for Galliano, especially after he was offered and accepted a temporary residency at Oscar de la Renta’s design studio. Galliano worked personally with de la Renta to prepare for New York Fashion Week show, which received favorable reviews.
Next up for Galliano this year was supposed to be a four-day master workshop series at Parsons: The New School for Design. Part of the “Show Me Emotion” series was to be a “candid conversation about the connection between his professional work and his actions in the world at large,” according to a Parsons spokesperson.
But Galliano and the school couldn’t come to an agreement regarding just how frank that conversation would be. On Tuesday, Parsons students who were supposed to take the course received an e-mail explaining why the course was being cancelled.
Part of it reads, “While we understand the pressures that Mr. Galliano faces, we expected to invite students, faculty and staff to ask Mr. Galliano how his trajectory as a designer was changed by his offensive remarks and to learn from that example.”
Some have continued to decry the disgraced designer for his rant in 2011, but others are supporting his silence, saying that he has atoned for his mistakes and deserves privacy in the matter.