the road to redemption is an epic task that if someone triumphs over, is able to reap the rewards of salvation and praise. but what happens when a man's reputation becomes unsalvageable? when one action will forever define the character of a person? a permanent tarnish that becomes his mark of cain.
bigotry and racism isn't something alien to the rarefied world of high fashion. no high profile fashion editor will ever openly accuse miuccia prada of being a racist, but let's not forget the fact that not one black girl walked a prada or miumiu show for a whole decade. the act of not casting a model of african origin might be considered to be a racist act, but unless she flat out says she doesn't approve of black models, the rest of the fashion world does what it's always done, turn a blind, ignorant eye.
then there is john galliano. once fashion's most notorious enfant terrible with the brilliance to back it all up. an alchemist who merge multi-cultural references with history and fantasy. evoking the past to move fashion to the future. a future that until a mere two days ago was destined to be one of the industry's great, immortal geniuses. sharing space at the high altar with christian dior himself. the man whose house he would eventually helm for almost fourteen years.
by now everyone has heard of his termination at dior. seen the video of his drunken tirade spewing venomous words i don't think needs to be repeated any longer. i don't condone the things that he said, and although i have the greatest respect for his talents, i ultimately and broken heartedly approve of the decision to terminate him.
we've all said things, horrible things to others even when we don't mean them. whether as a joke, or drunk, or even just from the tone of our voice, the things that we say, no matter how much we think to be inconsequential, leaves its trace on everyone around us. ultimately painting a picture of us and the things we believe in to the world at large. a world that does not intimately know our person.
galliano was the man responsible for taking me on my first fashion fantasy. it was 1995. linda evangelista just came out wearing a massive yellow tulle skirt with a feather bustier twirling around while nadja auermann, in an equally large pink tulle skirt, struck a pose like an old varga girl around a vintage automobile.
i remember being glued in front of the television in awe with just how magical the whole thing was. even though i was watching it from a television screen, i knew i was witnessing what fashion people call a "moment".
it made me believe that fashion isn't just throwing something on to cover our modesty. it could have a purpose higher than just plain necessity. there could be emotion. there could be fantasy. a passion to create a world where the most beautiful women in the world can walk around a car garage wearing the most beautiful dresses and it makes perfect sense. even if it's just for just that tiny sliver of time.
that is the memory i want to associate with john. the dreamer who invited us to his own dreams and allowed us to explore our own. now it's suddenly eclipsed by hateful words. by sentiments i don't really think he believes in. he made a mistake. a drunken, foolish mistake. i can find it in my heart to forgive him. i just don't think the rest of the world will.