Despite the dismissal of Dior’s chief designer John Galliano this week, the house’s fall 2011 show proceeded according to schedule today in a giant tent in the gardens of the Musée Rodin. This was the first time since his debut at the French fashion house fifteen years ago that the flamboyant designer has not been present for a Dior show.
It is being reported that Galliano, who is reportedly in rehab, will stand trial this spring in a French criminal court on a charge of public insult after his alleged alcohol-fuelled racist rants. If found guilty the designer could face up to six months in prison.
While the design house is still reeling after Galliano’s abrupt departure, today it was business kind-of as usual. With the venue swarmed by media from around the world, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano took to the runway before the show to make a statement. “It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer, however brilliant he may be,” he continued, “such statements are intolerable because of our collective duty to never forget the Holocaust and its victims, and because of the respect for human dignity that is owed to each person and to all peoples.”
When the show concluded, instead of the usual designer bow, the entire Dior design team walked onto the runway clad in white lab coats to a standing ovation. It seems the French fashion house pulled off the show, but now what? Rumours are circulating that Haider Ackermann, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Hedi Slimane are all favourites to replace Galliano although there has been no official statements released. The runway show for Galliano’s eponymous label, due to take place on Sunday, has been cancelled in favour of a smaller presentation.