I was disappointed to find that Galliano was guilty of racist slurs. The individual I had once admired for his bold catwalk displays and impact on fashion had tainted his image. No longer famed for his work on Dior but more for his racial outbursts, he represented what was negative about fashion. Fashion itself already lacks black female and male model representations, and for Galliano to add to this with anti-Semitic remarks saddens me.
Although he was said to have apologised and stated the obvious, “racism has no part in our society”, it still baffles me as to why he would have even dared to say such things. Did he think he was above what was right?
Fashion house Dior sacked him and although he is to stand trial, this still does not dismiss the racism that is evident in fashion itself. Since when do the garments you wear have anything to do with your skin colour, religion or sexuality?
Stated in my previous article Black is Beautiful beauty itself is constructed and is connected to what we find desirable. It goes beyond aesthetics and is strongly linked with ethics and politics. What is found to be most desirable unfortunately is not the black female or in terms of what has come to light with Galliano, anything that is different. The black and Jewish community has faced much stigma and with comments like, “I love Hitler”, by Galliano this only causes more hostility in a topic that is still raw.
Israeli born Natalie Portman stated, “I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.”
The recent Oscar winner is currently the face of Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, so this is a surprise as to why Galliano would have been foolish enough to publicly air such slurs against Jews, considering this is Portman’s heritage.
Whether Galliano was intoxicated or not, his actions have soiled Dior and more so soiled my article on Express Yourself which features Galliano’s influence on individuality. I can only hope that fashion itself makes for a drastic transformation and welcomes the black female, the black male, the Jew and many others who face stigma. Until then, let’s remember that fashion is about representing the unique and that itself is beautiful.