1 March 2011

The tragic tale of John Galliano and other fables

Actor Natalie Portman is 'shocked and disgusted', Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist blogger) thinks he sees 'a sad man willing to say anything to hurt others as a desperate cry for help', Dior CEO Sidney Toledano declares that what Galliano said 'totally contradicts the values which have always been defended by Christian Dior', Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief, Franca Sozzani says Galliano 'was clearly provoked, and filmed, while obviously inebriated', Giorgio Armani apparently 'feels sorry' for the British designer, while Lisa Armstrong of The Times wrote 'to see the man entrusted with one of France’s most venerated labels spouting the views of the most ignorant white supremacist is shocking'.

Whatever you might conclude from this fifty year old fashion designer's recent remarks in Paris, there is more than meets the eye in this sorry, wretched tale.

Beside the obviously problematic 'I love Hitler', the smug surgically-enhanced visage, and the slurring alcohol-infused voice (all of which, in another context or circumstance could be somehow excused) this guy and this whole fiasco represent so much of what is wrong with the world.

Unfortunately, this little pimple in Dior's smooth veneer has not been heralded as an example of the fashion industry's utter introspection nor, by extension, that of any other exploitative, consumptive and indoctrinating industry whose profit-margins are higher than your average education budget. Equally, it has not been noted that hierarchy-based systems such as these - where the likes of Galliano attain bizarre demi-god status to the extent that they lose all sense of self-, community- or world-perspective (i.e. maybe some perspective which is not predicated on fashion cycles, ludicrous pay-checks, Augusts spent in St. Tropez, etc.) - are one of the primary problems in society today and should be disencouraged not reinforced by this kind of propaganda-cum-media circus (I join the swarm) which now surrounds Christian Dior, Mr. Galliano, and indeed the potential successors to the helm of Ship Dior.

What's more, no-one has seemed to flinch about the fact that everyone has suddenly decided to get on their high-horse about anti-semitism coming from a drunk fashion designer, when many of the world's so-called leaders are prepared to support wars where thousands of innocent civilians are killed in the name of supposed democracy in a war 'on terror' and contra Islam (read: Iraq war).

I suppose it's more interesting for us to be talking about some rich white guy who has said he loves Hitler than the racist policies such as Australia's Northern Territory 'Intervention' into Aboriginal communities, France's anti-burkha regulations, the genocide occurring in Africa every day due to diseases effectively funded by US pharmaceutical companies, the United Kingdom's (and most other so-called First World states') draconian measures to limit immigration to their shores (unless you're super-rich of course), the negligent response by those in power to environmental disasters (often the product of what is called Western 'progress') that occur in countries and cities too poor or exploited to help themselves, the capital punishment of homosexuality in countries such as Sudan and Iran (it is at points like these we see the hypocrisy of 'liberal' Western corporations like Givenchy so proudly using the face of a transgender model to sell clothes), or the utter poverty of people from former-Soviet countries like Armenia whose governments exploit their people (nothing new there) and report prosperity to the flaccid ears of rich Western 'democracies'.

I could go on but, sorry, did someone mention fascism?


Blogger DM said...

right on!

05 March, 2011 03:17  

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