Galliano & Dior: Behind the Curtain

By BarbaraAnne

Is the establishment outraged by anti-Semitism only when it appears in front of the curtain? John Galliano as Mel Gibson, News at 11? The President of Dior fired him immediately saying, “I condemn most firmly the statements made by John Galliano which are a total contradiction with the essential values that have always been defended by the House of Christian Dior.”


What “essential values” did Christian Dior display when he designed dresses for the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators during WWII? The same values as Coco Chanel? It was only after the War that the French Minister of Fashion enlisted cotton magnate Marcel Boussac to finance Dior’s landmark 1947 haute couture collection, the “New Look.” Economically, France had to begin competing again in world markets.

Natalie Portman had to say something, and she said what her lawyers told her to say. She will still continue to make money from her perfume contract. Dior will still show Galliano’s designs next week because they want the money. In other artistic media, we rank Karajan as one of the greatest conductors who ever lived, and he was, but he played Bruckner symphonies IN FRONT of Hitler. He was an actual card-carrying Nazi.

So we worship the art, but forgive the past. We worship the artist, but are only outraged when their anti-Semitism goes beyond the boundaries of discretion — when it is in such bad taste, they get caught. Plausible deniability is the name of the game.

That is the game Galliano lost. He will have to pay a price, maybe go to jail — for bad taste. That a designer at his level was this careless is what shocks me. That he is an anti-Semite allows him to join most of Europe. The academic papers, convenient editing of memory, historical revisionism, private dinner conversations, immigration law, and countless silent forms of anti-Semitism continue to prosper.

I am a Jew. I know the steely eyed glance, which lasts only a second, but which communicates quite clearly that the person looking at you thinks you are a little mouse. They wouldn’t think twice about stomping you out if they could.

John Galliano will hire a publicist and “reform.” But for those of us around the world who are truly not racists and anti-Semites, this is a sad day. One of our heroes revealed he was really a monster. One of our geniuses pulled back the curtain.

Filed under: Angst

One Response to Galliano & Dior: Behind the Curtain

  • SMS says:

    Bravo Barbara, well done! I am appalled that Dior plans to show Galliano’s designs in Paris this week. I am equally appalled that he kept his job this long… people with views like Galliano’s don’t make their beliefs known on rare occasion, and certainly people a fraction as ostentatious as Galliano don’t. I don’t believe for a minute that the House of Dior didn’t know he was anti-Semite before he was outed publicly. We are reminded once again that there truly is no integrity left in this world, greed rules everyone, and it is especially heartbreaking when it becomes apparent in the art world and is displayed by those you once held in highest esteem.

    I feel like I did when McQueen committed suicide. A great artist has forever denied the world his gift by his own hand and damaged psyche. I fear the only difference is that we couldn’t have done anything to save Galliano. Life didn’t break him, his own despicable hatred did.

    • Loosely wrapped, creative, nocturnal, eternally blue, reclusive, eccentric, obsessive perfectionist... in other words, an artist.
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