The John Galliano Comeback is Happening, Maybe, Thanks to Oscar de la Renta

The John Galliano Comeback is Happening, Maybe, Thanks to Oscar de la Renta
(Getty Images; PacificCoastNews) Oscar de la Renta, left, and John Galliano will work together

In a surprise move, legendary New York-based designer Oscar de la Renta has revealed he's invited disgraced Dior Creative Director John Galliano to spend "some time with him in his New York design studio over the next three weeks," according to a report in WWD.

"John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent," de la Renta told the trade paper. "He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative."

Galliano was fired from his position as artistic director at Christian Dior following a February 2011 incident wherein he was caught on video in the throes of a drunken anti-Semitic rant at a bar-cafe near his home in Paris. In September of that year, Galliano was found guilty in a court of law for making anti-Semitic comments and fined €6,000. Following his 2011 dismissal from Dior, it was rumored that Galliano spent a few months holed up in a rehab clinic in Arizona.

"I am an alcoholic," he admitted. "I have been in recovery for the past two years. Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease. I said and did things which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community. I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I caused, and I continue to do so. I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt."

But are people ready to forgive him—and re-embrace his talents? Some of his closest friends and allies—unlike retailers, employers, and the fashion media—never abandoned him. In August 2011, immediately before his conviction in French court, the designer made an appearance at supermodel Kate Moss' wedding in England—for which he designed her gown. And, in mid-2012, rumors swirled that he was spotted dining with Vogue EIC Anna Wintour at the Ritz in Paris.

WWD spoke with the Anti-Defamation League—who expressed their support for a Galliano comeback.

"We believe that individuals change their hearts and minds as long as they demonstrate true contrition," the organization's national director told the trade paper. "Mr. Galliano has worked arduously in changing his world view and dedicated a significant amount of time to researching, reading, and learning about the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry. Along his journey to recovery he met with us on numerous occasions. He has accepted full responsibility for his previous remarks and understands that hurtful comments have no place in our society."
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