Is fashion literally gone mental ???

Photography MIKAEL JANSSON

After all the dark drama involving Galliano in the last week and few arguable statements from the likes Franca Sozanni, Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld, things seemed to be gone worse.

In the afternoon Balmain designer , Christopher Decarnin, did not show up in the end of his show and confused people started to ask questions. The spokesperson for the brand quickly added that “He’s tired after working on the collection. He’s not here. He’s resting.” But it does not seem to be it all, apparently according to Hint Magazine it is much more than that.

“As if Paris Fashion Week couldn’t get any more bizarre or depressing, we’ve just heard that designer Christophe Decarnin was a no-show at the Balmain collection today because he’s been in a “mental hospital” since January, the result of a nervous breakdown.” Read full article here .

Has everybody in fashion gone completely mad ?

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Is there an ending to Galliano’s story ?

Dior show by Galliano - Photo: Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

As always Cathy Horyn compacted the feeling of us all in her article published last night. As expected lots of stories about John’s addiction problem are surfacing.

As I mentioned his problem was well known by many and it is said that John did not design. Apparently, has said by Horyn the executive of Dior, Sydney Toledano, suggested many times that he should seek help (rehab) but of course they were not insistent enough…

“But increasingly one had the feeling that Mr. Galliano was indulged in ways that went beyond the normal — the driver, the bodyguard, the research trips, the vacations, the teams of assistants — and might have caused even the steadiest soul to lose touch with reality. Mr. Toledano is known to have repeatedly encouraged him to seek professional help for some issues (presumably, drinking), but Mr. Galliano’s replies were indirect. Or he said he would go to a spa.” Read the full article here at the NY Times, by Horyn.

Rosane Ribeiro

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Galliano’s full statement

“Since the events of last Thursday evening I have not been able to make any public comment on what took place based upon advice from my French lawyer. However, given the continuing delays at the French Prosecutor’s Office I should make my position clear.

I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the Police investigation.

A number of independent witnesses have given evidence and have told the Police that I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me.

However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.

I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light. I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures and that I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion. To start this process I am seeking help and all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people’s forgiveness.

I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination having been subjected to it myself. In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.

Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour in causing any offence.”

Speaking by the first time since this drama circus started, Galliano is said to have left Paris and is en route to rehab. Although not confirmed there is a speculation that he is going to the famous The Meadows.

As John obviously has an addiction problem, why nobody at such a big company did anything before ? I agree that the designer has to be responsible for his behaviour, but should not his bosses be helping him ? I am more than sure it was not the first time something unpleasant happened, so why did they not stop it before ? The truth is, in this industry there is highly tolerance for substance abuse and outrageous behaviour and surely the reason Dior is taking such measures is because everything was out in the open. This should had been approached way before this all happened !!!

Joh, get help and come back to the top of the game !

Roxy Ribeiro

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The new Vuitton Man is British

Vogue.co.uk reveals the new Vuitton man

Surprise, surprise the new man is British and studied at Central Saint Martins, the place that feeds the world with the best fashion talents.

Kim Jones has been made Louis Vuitton’smenswear style director with immediate effect. The designer stepped down from his role as creative director of Alfred Dunhill in September.

The French fashion house today confirmed Jones (read full article here)

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A Galliano situation

The John Galliano situation advances. From Thursday to today there has been many many news about a drunken Galliano extravagantly declaiming his love for Adolph Hitler in a bar and today it culminated with him being fired from his job at Dior.

After Hillary Alexander’s brilliant article at The Telegraph, I believe there is not much more needed to be said. I agree with every single word, but I feel I should point out few things that seem to have been forgotten in the heat of the moment.

Firstly let me remind you all that Galliano was provoked. While there is no excuse for his behaviour he was clearly under the influence of alcohol and God knows what else.

There is something else: designers of the level of Galliano live in a bubble. A glamorous, expensive, huge bubble. They hold a hedonistic life in a completely different world and sadly, yes very sadly, feel they can be immune to the real world consequences.

It is a life of lavishness where nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible and problems are always dealt by PRs, PAs, executives and the list goes on. The overdose of luxury (and many other substances) makes the world of high fashion a world set apart, a billion dollar world apart. Although everybody seems surprised by it all to most of us who works in fashion this is no news. Thirty years ago there were many stories of drunken famous designers doing stupid things, but then there was no Twitter, Facebook or such a celebrity culture.

There is a lesson to be learnt. There is and will always be consequences for what you do and say regardless how high profile you are. And . I am sure it was not the first time LVMH had to deal with many unpleasant situations created by their creative staff. But as this time, Galliano’s detestable  and repugnant comments were scandalously broadcasted to the world and they had to, of course, stand firmly against it all.  And let me break the news Bernard Arnault as the owner of a giant fashion conglomerate wants to turn the highest profit with the least problems to liaise as possible. As one can expect Galliano is and has always being a hand full to deal with, so rumours that Arnault wants to get rid of him has some fundament.

Although this is all sad and inexcusable there is no need to worried about the designer’s future. Those who are hating him and saying it is the end of his brilliant career, calm down! I will tell you something, fast forward a season or two(if all that), Galliano will  re appear as a star who has turned things around. Get will soon go into rehab, apologise for what he has said and take a short break . Then, on top of the game, he will come back and take his bow in the end of another fantastic fashion show in one of the many high fashion maisons. Do any of you remember when the whole world thought was the end of Kate Moss when she was photographed taking cocaine and lost few very good contracts and campaigns ?

Yes, I know, we all have a tendency to forget and soon this is all going to be old news.

Roxy Ribeiro

(also see Suzy Menkes take on it)

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The unkind business of fashion Part II

As I sat in front of the TV watching the British documentary on Alexander Lee McQueen’s life, the so famous fashion rebel that shortened his life a year ago, I wondered how fashion can bring the best and the worse out of people. Lee was nothing short of genius. His talent was stunning, fascinating but above all shocking. Nobody pushed fashion to such extremes. His shows were performances loved and loathed by the public and specially the press.

But what fascinated me tonight was to see the fashion industry stripped down naked. Out came some of the most realistic facts that nobody wants to touch or for this matter talk about. In the open was Lee’s tough love relationship with Isabella Blow and, of course, his long term cocaine habit.

As he made as a designer taking a job at the house of Givenchy, Isabella was left behind and was not invited to ‘join the party’ in Paris. These were difficult years for them both. As Godfrey Deeny from FWD points out, “the press hated (Lee’s Givenchy collections) and I was not going to lie to Lee”. McQueen found difficult to fit in as a creative force behind a such a traditional French house. Back in UK, Isabella was jobless and lonely.

Isabella, for those who do not know, is the British fashion journalist and editor who discovered McQueen at his Central Saint Martins MA graduation show, buying all his collection, becoming his muse and presenting him to the world. She was an aristocratic Lady Gaga, wearing mind blowing hats and extravagant outfits. The sadness, resent and unhappiness of Isabella’s life is heartbreaking. I completely sympathise with her. She made many stars in the fashion world and despite being globally well known she struggled to even keep a job. Six suicide attempts in 2 years, Isabella seemed to find difficult to fit in. To the world she seemed to have everything, but deep inside she lived a constant battle to proof herself. “She did not want to become a charicature”, says her husband.

Brilliant and outrageous at its best, fashion geniality. Isabella’s sense of fashion was inspiring, beautiful and very, very ahead of her time. But apparently expensive and not commercial, so as a visionary she found hard to have a job and like any other mortal was having trouble to even pay her bills.

Asked if fashion had let down by  she surprisingly says “No, ‘fashion’ is my everything”.

Indeed Issie, isn’t it to us all ?

Roxy Ribeiro

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Romance galore

 

Love is the air ! For the last few months all we hear about in the fashion scene is who or who is not going to design the wedding dress.

Not only William, son of prince Charles and Lady Di, have decided to marry his long term girlfriend Kate Middleton but the top of the topmodels, iconic queen, fashion muse Kate Moss is marrying ex-rock star boyfriend Jamie Hince, so it is the year of the weddings apparently.

Somehow I luckily managed to avoid writing about the royal wedding, so far, but I could not ignore the news brought to me this morning.

As Catherine Middleton, princess to be of the United Kingdom, keeps the name of the designer of her dress as highly confidential information, Miss Moss, with no shame in sharing the news, told John Galliano will be designer of her own romantic gown.

And voilà, just like that, I felt my romantic genes kick back in my system as the memories of the most beautiful, chic, punk dress I have seen ever in my life rushed back to my mind. It was a Galliano, of course in the chicest wedding I have attended in France.

If I was bored by the whole wedding season, Kate just gave me hope that deep inside there is still a romantic in me.  And, oh boy, this is a wedding I am now, really looking forward to.

 

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