Friday, February 15, 2013

Sh-Muckraking by the New York Post

When I go to Borough Park I am often struck by the many Hasidic men in their Stephen Jones' hats, Yohji Yamamoto pants, Dolce and Gabbana vests, striped knee breeches, bright blue socks and combat boots.

Yes, you are right, I never go to Borough Park but I often do see Hasidic men in Manhattan and what I see is not how John Galliano was dressed when he stepped out the morning of the Oscar de la Renta show here in New York.

Photo from Hollywood Life
I was shocked by the NY Post's cover story claiming John Galliano was dressed up as an Hasidic Jew. John Galliano who does in fact have long curly hair, has always worn elaborate and large hats (or a crown) and has donned many a frock coat.  His dress is romantic and references many centuries and many cultures - and one that he is well known for.

His publicist, Liz Rosenberg, in email said "Regarding his attire yesterday: As you well know, John has worn big hats and long coats for many, many years.  He indeed has long curly hair, and I can understand people/the NYPost misinterpreting his look at the show.  But I can assure you there was no intent to dress in Hasidic style, to present himself as an homage to the Hasidic community or to insult the Jewish culture or pay tribute to people in 17th century Ploand on John's part - consciously or unconsciously.  His attire included a Steven (sic)  Jones hat, Yohji Yamamoto trousers, BrooksBrother shirt, Dolce & Gabbana vest.  In other words - fashionable".

She continued, "He is sorrowful and sincere in his efforts (regarding his educational efforts).  Some people may never forgive him for his remarks two years ago and he understands that.  But he will continue to work toward that goal and show by his actions his serious and heartfelt commitment and respect for the Jewish community."

Abraham H. Foxman,  a known leader against anti-Semitism and is the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on the Anti-Defamation League Web site, "Hasidim do not wear fedora hats, pinstripe pants, blue jackets or an ascot tie.  This is John Galliano being John Galliano."

I think this was all a sad and obvious bit of sh-muckraking by the NYPost to sell a few newspapers.  Galliano has stayed out of the spotlight since that infamous night at a cafe in Paris and according to Liz Rosenberg has "worked hard these past two years with leaders of the Jewish community around the world, immersed himself in literature from Primo Levi to Elie Wiesel and has educated himself about the Holocaust."

His contribution to the de la Renta fall 2013 collection was never implicitly acknowledged but glimpses of Galliano's romantic construction clearly influenced Oscar de la Renta.  I hope and look forward to Galliano's path on his way to recovery from alcoholism, the stresses and pressures of having designed for a powerful and demanding fashion house and his humility and understanding of the hurt and damage caused by his drunken words two years ago.  

His talent is colossal and unique and the fashion world, already saturated by sameness and globalization, needs the talents of an unfettered imagination like John Galliano.  I also hope that he because of bullying by the New York Post, he does not change the way he dresses to fit in and become more like everyone else.

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