What's Next in John Galliano's Career? - Page 33 - the Fashion Spot
 
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Exclusive: John Galliano, in First Interview Since Firing, On Addiction, His Outburst, and His Future in Fashion


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In his first interview since his 2011 firing from Dior, 52-year-old John Galliano sat down for a series of wide-ranging conversations with contributing editor Ingrid Sischy. Beyond his anti-Semitic rant, which shattered the designer’s career, Galliano and Sischy talked of the designer’s young life, including beatings and childhood taunting; his fashion education and the development of his eye; and how being “a slave” to his success led him down a path of addiction. Looking forward, Sischy writes of Galliano's future: “He has begun taking baby steps to re-enter the world of fashion. My prediction: Get ready for his second act.” Read below to see a preview of the piece, available in full in the July 2013 issue:

Fashion designer John Galliano, in his first-ever sober interview, tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Ingrid Sischy that, in spite of his words, he is not an anti-Semite or a racist. “It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it. . . . I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realize I was so ****ing angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could.”

Galliano tells Sischy that he has been sober for over two years now and that theirs is the first interview he has ever given sober. Of his drinking and drug use in the years leading up to the outburst, Galliano says, “I was going to end up in a mental asylum or six feet under.”

Sischy reports that Galliano has spent the last couple of years learning about what he has to do to keep his illness at bay, facing up to what went wrong in his life, and taking certain steps to atone, including reading books on the Holocaust and Jewish history, meeting with Jewish leaders, and reaching out to members of the larger fashion community, including retailers, as part of the process of making amends and possibly returning to work.

Reflecting on his last two years of sobriety and struggles to come to terms with his words and actions, Galliano says that he knows “it sounds a bit bizarre, but I am so grateful for what did happen. I have learned so much about myself. I have re-discovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had lost. I am alive.”

Galliano describes how he slipped into addiction slowly over the course of time, while continuing to work at a high level. “I never drank in order to be creative, or to do the research,” he tells Sischy. “I didn’t need alcohol for any of that. At first alcohol was like a crutch outside of Dior. Then I would use it to crash after the collections. I’d take a couple of days to get over it, like everyone. But with more collections, the crash happened more often, and then I was a slave to it. Then the pills kicked in because I couldn’t sleep. Then the other pills kicked in because I couldn’t stop shaking. I would also have these huge bottles of liquor that people got for me. Towards the end, it was whatever I could get my hands on. Vodka, or vodka-and-tonic. Wine, in the belief it would help me sleep. Wrong. I did manage to stop the voices. I had all these voices in my head, asking so many questions, but I never for one second would admit I was an alcoholic. I thought I could control it.”

“What had started as self-expression turned into a mask,” Galliano says. “I lived in a bubble. I would be backstage and there would be a queue of five people to help me. One person would have a cigarette for me. The next person would have the lighter. I did not know how to use the A.T.M.”

Galliano tells Sischy he was aware on some level that he had a problem, especially as he began to lose days to bouts of drinking. “Not having washed, I’d be covered in sores and humiliated,” he says. “I had the tremors. I wouldn’t sleep for five days. I would go to bookstores and get some self-help books, but I was in denial. I’d throw myself back into the gym. I’d be careful about what I ate. And, of course, the whole cycle would start again.”

Sischy reports that Galliano’s bosses at LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), the parent company of Dior, confronted him on at least two occasions shortly before his downfall. First, Sidney Toledano, C.E.O. of Dior, took Galliano to lunch and said he needed to get help. According to Sischy, Galliano turned the tables and suggested that Toledano should change his diet and eat more healthily. The second confrontation occurred when Bernard Arnault, chairman and C.E.O. of LVMH, and Toledano told Galliano he was going to die if he didn’t do something about his problem. In response, Galliano tore off his shirt to reveal a gym-toned torso and asked, “Does this look like the body of an alcoholic?” Other friends told Sischy they wanted to intervene, but that in the end no one wanted to betray the designer, and that after a drinking binge, he’d seem fine again.

All told there were three separate accusations of Galliano’s having made anti-Semitic tirades. Galliano reiterates that he does not remember the events of the night in 2010 when his remarks were videotaped, explaining, “When everyone came over to tell me that I had done these terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what had gone down. My assistant told me about the video. When I saw it, I threw up. The feeling was like I was about to take a step out onto the street and a bus or truck whooshed past me and the blood was drained from my legs. I was paralyzed from the fear.”

Galliano tells Sischy about his admission to an Arizona rehab facility on March 1, 2011. Here staff confiscated pretty much everything he brought, including the Keith Richards memoir, Life. When he was allowed his first two-minute phone call, he called Bill Gaytten (who had stepped in as creative director of the John Galliano label), just before the Galliano fashion show began in Paris, hoping to tell the models what they should be thinking as they walked down the runway. The call did not go well. “Bill said, ‘Do you realize what you’ve ****ing done?,’” Galliano recalls, “and I said, ‘Kind of.’ But I still didn’t. I couldn’t say yes. I just couldn’t. And those were the last words we shared. That’s someone I’ve known for 30 years. Even now I’m still learning every day how many people I hurt.”

Linda Evangelista was the sole friend to make the trek for Galliano’s first visitors weekend. “I just didn’t want that weekend to go by without anyone reaching out to him,” she tells Sischy.

A few weeks into Galliano’s recovery, Kate Moss contacted him and asked him to design her wedding dress, something they had discussed when he was still at Dior. Galliano tells Sischy he felt it was a gift: “Creating Kate’s wedding dress saved me personally because it was my creative rehab. She dared me to be me again.” Moss describes the gown as “absolutely gorgeous, a diaphanous 1920s-type dress, romantic, with gold sequins in the shape of the phoenix—as if he was saying he would rise from this.” She tells Sischy that “when my dad gave his speech he thanked everyone and then he referred to the genius of Galliano, who made his daughter’s dress. Everyone stood up and gave John a standing ovation. It was the most moving thing, because suddenly John realized he wasn’t on his own.”

Sischy speaks with a wide range of sources for the article: Galliano’s friends and colleagues, including Kate Moss, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Elton John, Anna Wintour, Jonathan Newhouse, and Naomi Campbell; members of the Jewish community, including Rabbi Barry Marcus, of London's Central Synagogue, and Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League; and several addiction specialists and major retailers.
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Wow just reading that little bit is beyond what I imagined he was going through, and then the response from Bill shocked the hell out of me. I can't wait to read the rest of this.

 
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Reading this is just heart breaking. I just can't w some people who still punish him. Being video taped when ur drunk and saying things that u didn't mean is not racist.

 
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Interesting, I want to read the rest, but in the back of my mind I'm always wondering what is orchestrated and what is really true...

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I have to admit that the interviewer calling on members of the Jewish Community to comment on John's behavior is sort of weird and not needed. It is not up to others to justify or excuse his behavior; it ought to be his own actions that do this.

I completely understand Bill's reaction and I think most people would do the same.

 
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I think it would be interesting to hear their sides as well. It just seems too predictable since it's already known that Abe Foxman supports Galliano and he will most likely reaffirm the empathy and change of character.

And that bit about Galliano telling Toledano to change his diet, I can just imagine the sass in that conversation.

 
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thanks for posting, mistress_f ... I was expecting this to be most interesting, and it totally is. Wrt members of the Jewish community, some of them I imagine were lined up by his PR, and then I would imagine the journalist needed to find additional sources that were not.

It sounds like he's being quite honest, and I appreciate that.

I felt sure there had been discussions at Dior beforehand, so it's interesting to see that confirmed.

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Awwww, Linda is such a great friend. Bill's response - whatev , 30 years of friendship, but who's counting.

 
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Quote:
GALLIANO ON THE RECORD: On Thursday, the July issue of Vanity Fair will hit newsstands and inside is John Galliano’s first lengthy interview since his ouster from Dior. The article, “Galliano in the Wilderness,” is by contributing editor Ingrid Sischy, as WWD reported earlier this month.
Several major news organizations had been jockeying to land the first interview with the disgraced designer. Sischy, who knows Galliano professionally after 20 years of attending his shows, first reached out to him to discuss the profile in February 2011, in the early days following his dismissal from Dior. Through some of the few people who were in touch with him, she delivered a message that Vanity Fair wanted to do a story about the saga with his cooperation.

“It was important to tell it the right way, and by the right way I mean with the cooperation of the person the story was about. It seemed to us that done the right way it could be a story that mattered,” Sischy said. “This isn’t just a story of a designer. It’s a story of successful people who run into trouble. It mattered to the magazine the story was told with John’s cooperation.”

Galliano seemed open to the idea, but said it was too early to make a commitment.

Vanity Fair was persistent. In March 2011, editor in chief Graydon Carter followed up with a phone call to Galliano while he was in rehab. The designer again said the interview would have to wait until the right time, “when John felt he had been on the journey for long enough,” Sischy explained.

She kept an eye on Galliano as his story unfolded for the next couple of years, occasionally checking in with him. They again connected in February of this year while Galliano made his first return to the fashion world, serving what would become a controversial tenure as “designer in residence” in the studio of Oscar de la Renta. The two had an informal dinner in New York’s West Village. After that, the profile was put into motion and Sischy spent several months interviewing Galliano at his home in Paris, as well his supporters, as well as high-profile figures in the Jewish community. In the far-ranging, nearly 8,000-word profile, which will also run in British Vanity Fair, Galliano again profusely apologizes for his behavior and attributes his outburst to alcoholism and an addiction to pills. Friends and LVMH executives tried to stage interventions, but Galliano refused to acknowledge his problems. According to the article, when Bernard Arnault confronted him, Galliano tore off his shirt to show off his ripped body, and said, “Does this look like the body of an alcoholic?” Rehab at an Arizona facility was a difficult period — he was not allowed to bring a copy of Keith Richards’ memoir, “Life,” or many phone calls, though apparently Vanity Fair occasionally snuck in. Galliano tells Sischy that rehab had a dramatic effect on him.

“I have rediscovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had lost. I am alive,” he told the magazine.

He was photographed by Annie Leibovitz at Sawkill Falls in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Sischy said Galliano’s handlers did not set any conditions for the interviews or time limitations. They did not want a Lance Armstrong situation on their hands. “I had total carte blanche,” she said.

Sischy explained her mind-set before she sat down with Galliano. “When you begin a story, your instinct leads you into the person. You don’t have any preset plans. It’s when you’re there and fully present that the story writes itself. You have to go in open and prepared to think this person’s really, really sorry, or he’s really doing this work, or this person’s doing a media thing,” she said.

Sischy, anyway, was moved by the designer. “It’s a good red flag when someone isn’t genuine, your stomach kind of tells you. My stomach was saying, ‘This is the real thing,’” she said.

In the piece, she concludes, “My prediction: Get ready for his second act.”

No word yet from Galliano’s publicist on his plans for a television appearance.

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i wonder if it's actually true that ingrid was given carthe blanche. i'm dying to read the whole interview. i also wanna know when the interview will be published in international editions of Vanity Fair, cause here it's not monthly and i'm afraid i'm gonna miss it

 
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Here's a quick scan of the Galliano feature for those wanting to read the article:










scanned by me (sorry for the quality)



 
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I miss Galliano and I'm hoping the world has forgiven him. It was irresponsible and insensitive of him to say that. He made a grave mistake and I choose to believe he felt sorry and guilty about it. With the rehab and self-realizations he went through, I really look forward to seeing him revive himself in the fashion industry.

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I'm really satisfied with the interview & now I think he should be allowed back in the industry. Like I said before, just because people didn't support him returning without a public statement, it doesn't make us bullies or monsters. Now that's he has finally manned up & fully explained what he's done, myself & several others (I'm assuming) are going to support him moving forward.

 
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It could be makeup, lighting, and photoshop, but he looks healthier and glowing in that photo in the article. Good for him !

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sounds like "dirty European aristocracy".....

 
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the actual dialogue reads more like a drunkard than a strictly racial attack:

Quote:
Woman: "Are you blond?"

John: "No. But I love Hitler. People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f***ing gassed, anf f***king dead."

Woman: "Oh, my God! Do you have a problem?"

John: "With you? You're ugly."

Woman: "With all people. You don't like peace? You don't want peace in the world?"

John: "Not with people that are ugly."

Woman: "Where are you from?"

John: "Your ***hole." <-- sidenote:

 
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