ModernityBlog

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Posts Tagged ‘John Galliano

John Galliano And Bourgeois Taboos.

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Eamonn McDonagh has a good piece on fashion, fashionistas and those who defend John Galliano:

“She doesn’t deny that Galliano expressed admiration for Hitler and wished death on people he believed to be Jews but chooses to divert attention from and minimize the importance of this with irrelevant blather of various sorts. By the tone and content of her remarks she also indicates that her admiration for Galliano has not been diminished by his having revealed himself to be a gross racist and enthusiast for killing Jews.

Of course Oloixarac might respond by saying “Oh that was just John being John, being provocative. No one can possibly believe that he really has anything against Jews, those were just words, and he’s an artist for heaven’s sake, always trying to break through the boundaries and limits on what can be said.”

To which, two responses:

1. Great, he broke the bourgeois taboo about endorsing genocide and expressing grossly racist views. Clap! Clap! Perhaps we can now hope that other creative people will step forward and endorse pedophilia, the random murder of strangers and cannibalism and that Oloixarac will defend them with equal enthusiasm.

2. Great, he broke the bourgeois taboo about endorsing genocide and expressing grossly racist views. And because we respect his ability to think and act for himself we have to believe that he understood the likely consequences of expressing such views and making such threats in posh bars and restaurants in Paris and can have no complaints about his having been sacked by Dior.”

John Galliano, Fashion And Fascism.

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The New York Times has a piece on John Galliano and High Fascism:

“Maybe we were. Fashion is more than business in France: it’s a mythology, a secular religion, a source of national pride, especially during Fashion Week, when the country recalls its history as the birthplace of haute couture.

In recent days, though, in response to the anti-Semitic diatribe by Christian Dior’s creative director, John Galliano, the French have been recalling a far more ominous chapter in their history.

According to witnesses, a drunken Mr. Galliano exploded at a woman seated near him in a Paris bar. “Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead,” he is said to have told her. “Your boots are of the lowest quality, your thighs are of the lowest quality. You are so ugly I don’t want to see you. I am John Galliano!”

France is highly sensitive to such matters, and reprisals came quickly. Dior fired Mr. Galliano, who now faces charges of using a racial insult, a crime in France. But beyond the spectacle of one man’s abhorrent politics, the episode invites consideration of the curious relationship between French fashion and fascism.

During the Occupation, the Nazis and their French allies recognized the power and national prestige of the French fashion industry and sought to harness it. When the collaborationist Vichy government took over direction of the French lifestyle magazine Paris Soir, it announced in its pages a “summer of couture … and shopping.” The Nazis were so enamored with fashion’s place in French culture that in their plans for postwar Europe, they stipulated that, unlike other industries, the fashion sector would remain in France.

Which brings us back to Mr. Galliano in the Paris bar. His was not a generic anti-Semitic tirade, but the self-conscious pronouncement of a world-class arbiter of taste (“I am John Galliano!”). Not only did he use ethnic slurs, he accused the woman of being unattractive and unfashionable, associating both with ethnicity, with being Jewish (which she happened not to be).

The link is clear: like a fascist demagogue of yore, he was declaring that she did not belong to the gilded group who wear the right boots, and from this Mr. Galliano slid effortlessly to a condemnation of her very flesh, and a wish for her death. “

Written by modernityblog

09/03/2011 at 01:35

Antisemitic Rehab And John Galliano.

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Hadley Freeman takes on the fashionistas and John Galliano’s excusers:

” If Field, Kidman and the rest of the fashion corps took their heads out of their butts for a few minutes and read a book, they would doubtless cite what is known as The TS Eliot Defence, which is that Eliot’s distasteful views of Jews haven’t stopped people reading his work. The answer to this is, quite obviously: 1. While antisemitism is always abhorrent, Eliot did live in a different era and some adjustments of expectations must be made, and, in any case: 2. Eliot, to my knowledge, never said all Jews should have been gassed.

If reading feels like too much of a trial, perhaps they could cite The Coco Chanel Defence, which argues that Chanel herself was not averse to having some sexy time with top-level Nazis during the war but people are not condemned for wearing the Chanel label today. Again, two simple replies: 1. Chanel was punished for her treacherous behaviour and her business suffered (because Parisians in the 1940s understood that wearing clothes by someone who expresses love for a Nazi is not such a good look), and: 2. The clothes are no longer designed by Coco Chanel as she is, in fact, dead. Yes, the designer for the label these days, Karl Lagerfeld, is German but, come on, we’ve all moved on. Well, all of us except Galliano.

While we all wait with bated breath to see how rehab cures Galliano’s antisemitism problem (and how, pray tell, does antisemitic rehab work? Is he force-fed matzo-ball soup? Made to watch Annie Hall on loop? Taught the ways of hypochondria? Gosh, sounds kinda like my childhood), let us muse on how the answer to Lucinda’s question is in fashion patois. The fancy term in fashion land for wearing a designer’s clothes is “showing support”, eg: “Tom Ford’s such a dear friend so I always try to show support for him.” Ergo, perhaps now is not the time to “show support” for Galliano. “

(H/T: Phoebe)

Update 1: At the Poor Mouth, Defending Galliano – When Silence is Golden.

The Indie and John Galliano.

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In my view, the British media have, in many ways, contributed to the acceptability of soft antisemitism in modern society.

Nevertheless, when the Independent chose to cover John Galliano’s racist outbursts I was hopeful of a meaningful discussion on the topic.

Yet the concluding paragraph of this piece shows where contemporary interest lies, in celebrity and who wore what dress, that for the Independent is the real issue:

Star’s dilemma

For what she must hope is her crowning moment at tonight’s Oscars for her role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman will have wished for anything but the last-minute fashion crisis she now faces.

She is among a gaggle of high-profile guests, who, having been painstakingly fitted with one of Galliano’s frocks, face a daunting decision over which dress to wear to the ball.

Galliano’s alleged rant could see both Portman and her peers obliged to answer the most untimely and unwanted questions on anti-Semitism.

Penélope Cruz wore Galliano at last year’s awards, as did Cameron Diaz, while Charlize Theron, Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto, and Heidi Klum are known to be a fans.

Meanwhile, the model Kate Moss recently revealed she asked Galliano to design the dress for her wedding later this year. “

Update 1: The Guardian has a similarly tepid article.

Update 2: This is the first instance of Galliano’s racism captured on camera:

Update 3: Phoebe Maltz explains it clearly:

“Next, there are racists, there are alcoholics, and there those who say dumb things after one too many. Not to rehash the Affaire Gibson, but the people who start holding forth about ‘those people’ once they’ve had a few might be alcoholics, or might not, but are definitely racists.

Drinking to the point of disinhibition, but remaining plenty coherent, is not grounds for rehab, for concern from strangers, for any kind of sympathy. It’s grounds for having the courage to hit on a friend one has been crushing on, perhaps to mingle with ease in a informal-networking-type setting. Going on the anecdotal evidence of someone who attended college in the United States and who is currently in a French department, the amount of alcohol it takes to speak more freely is not what is scientifically referred to as sloppy-drunk, but is in fact a normal and mostly positive aspect of life for many adults in many countries. It is a level of tipsiness that does not indicate that one has a problem with alcohol.

Now, if you know yourself and know that your otherwise hidden views about ‘those people’ have a tendency to seem appropriate to you once you’ve had a beer, it is a problem for you to have alcohol even in amounts that would not damage your liver; having the beer anyway indicates poor judgment, not (necessarily) addiction. In vino veritas is not typically anything along the lines of a “cry for help.” “

(H/T:Eamonn McDonagh)

Unentertainment News, John Galliano: “I love Hitler”

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As with so many bigots and antisemites their history comes back to haunt them.

John Galliano, who was suspended by Dior for an antisemitic incident at a Paris cafe recently, did it before.

According to the JC, a video has surfaced on the Internet with Galliano making a comment “I love Hitler”.

Further, Galliano goes on to say

“People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be fucking gassed.”

Update 1: Linda Grant’s thoughts are here.

Written by modernityblog

28/02/2011 at 15:36

Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen And John Galliano

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You might think that antisemitism was a relic of the 20th century, something of the past, something that humans had learnt from, to avoid.

Yet you would be wrong, outbursts of antisemitism in the 21st century are becoming more common, with the passage of time, Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen are just two notable examples.

Now John Galliano, the famous designer, has been indulging in his own brand of antisemitism, according to AP:

“PARIS (AP) — Officials say Dior designer John Galliano was briefly detained after a spat in a Paris restaurant.

An official with the Paris prosecutor’s office says a couple in the restaurant accused Galliano of making anti-Semitic insults. A police official said Friday that Galliano also exchanged slaps with the couple.

The flamboyant British designer was questioned and released after the Thursday night incident. Both officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing say Galliano’s blood alcohol levels were high.

The Dior fashion house would not comment on the incident. “

Update 1: As if on cue, Mel phones:

“He said he had received calls of support from fellow celebrities, including Mel Gibson. “Occasionally, you know, a giant marquee name comes through on your caller ID. And it’s like, winning,” Sheen said. “

Written by modernityblog

25/02/2011 at 16:05