Last night at a cocktail benefit honoring Thom Browne (which followed the Pratt Institute Senior Fashion Show), we asked Hamish Bowles, Vogue's beloved Editor-at-Large, what he thought about John Galliano's new Parsons teaching job:
"I was in fashion school with John Galliano, and he was SO profoundly talented and extraordinary in every way. Anyone would be so blessed to have the benefit of his knowledge and taste and instinct for fashion."
The fashion industry has long rallied to support the former Dior designer. Almost immediately following the initial scandal two years ago, which cost Galliano his job and got him into rehab, people like WWD editor Bridget Foley and designer Patricia Field stepped in to voice their support. Within a few months, Kate Moss was married in a John Galliano wedding gown. The designer's return to fashion seemed imminent.
Things accelerated earlier this year, when the designer appeared in New York City just prior to fashion week, taking up a residency at Oscar de la Renta's studio at the bequest of Anna Wintour. He was seen lunching with Grace Coddington, who was herself enjoying a moment of heightened celebrity thanks to the publication of her autobiography. Almost immediately after the NYFW shows ended, rumors that Galliano would take a job teaching at either Central Saint Martins (his alma mater) or Parsons The New School for Design began circulating. When those rumors were finally confirmed last week and news of the designer's Parsons position broke, the reaction was mixed — which is par for the Galliano course.
Most opposition to Galliano's public rehabilitation comes from outside the fashion industry. A Change.org petition challenging Galliano's new job has racked up 405 signatures within just a couple days and received wide media coverage. As I mentioned earlier this week, it might be especially worth revisiting the appointment considering The New School's legacy; in the mid-20th century, the university was a haven for Jewish writers and academics fleeing the Nazi regime. Still, as evidenced by how readily Bowles provided a public comment in support of his old school friend, Galliano's ties to the fashion industry go deep and support for him is unwavering. No matter what happens with the Parsons job, a Galliano comeback is still only a matter of time.
Image via D. Dipasupil/Getty
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