Dior puts Galliano behind it at emotional Paris show

The soul of John Galliano was laid to rest as far as Christian Dior was concerned on Friday as the famed Parisian fashion house sent out its last pret-a-porter collection from the disgraced couturier.

Not once was Galliano's name mentioned under the huge marquee behind the Musee Rodin where Dior sent out the last 62 outfits ever to be associated with the brilliant English designer who now faces charges of hurling racist insults.

"What has happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all," said Dior's chief executive Sidney Toledano, in what must be the only time a Paris fashion show opened with something close to a eulogy.

"It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer, however brilliant he may be."

Dior fired Galliano on Tuesday - day one of Paris fashion week - after cafe patrons alleged that he drunkenly made anti-Semitic insults at them - a claim not helped by the emergence of a video in which Galliano says: "I love Hitler."

Galliano, 50, unseen in public since the furore erupted, apologised through his lawyers in London for his behaviour, just as French prosecutors said he would face trial by June this year, but strongly denied he is anti-Semitic.

In his remarks, on a stage that recreated in glacial blue Dior's chandeliered haute-couture showroom, Toledano recalled how the late Christian Dior's "own beloved sister had been deported to Buchenwald" during the Holocaust.

That poignant point made, it was left to 18-year-old Karlie Kloss - remarkably poised in the face of immense pressure - to open the show in a black cashmere cloak, blue leather jacket with fur collar and velvet knickerbockers.

More that just setting the tone for the show, the American model, a personal favourite of Galliano, seemed to embody the designer's flair for the flamboyant as she walked the elongated runway, the cloak flowing elegantly behind her.

In a telling twist, virtually all the models conspicuously carried Dior handbags - a highly profitable part of the Dior corporate empire.

For the finale, in lieu of Galliano striking his signature rock-star pose, Dior introduced around 50 of its "petit-mains" - the anonymous "little hands" of its ateliers who turn a designer's ideas into reality. The 800-strong crowd acknowleged them with a minute-long standing ovation.

On the way out, Grace Coddington, creative director at American Vogue, betrayed an unflagging respect for Galliano's genius as well as doubts about Dior's future without him.

"My impressions? Beautiful clothes, just beautiful clothes," she told AFP. "We'll see next time what they pull together."

Natalia Vodianova, the most notable international celebrity at a show that felt more like a funeral when the guests arrived, directed her thoughts at what she described as Galliano's struggle with alcoholism.

"John is under the influence of a disease beyond his power," she told reporters, as other models were seen with tears in their eyes as they left the backstage area that was, unusually, declared off-limits to the press.

Galliano's own eponymous ready-to-wear label, majority owned by Dior, was scheduled to be sent out on Sunday, but that show has since been downgraded to a simple presentation for buyers and journalists.

rom/har

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

    £15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

    Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

    Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

    Day In a Page

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links