Well, what a week for fashion it's been. Milan showcased strong collections oozing the sex and glamour it's known for and now we turn to Paris where the heavyweights of fashionprovide us with an inspiring finale. Paris was also the scene of another big fashion moment, with the implosion of John Galliano's tenure at Dior. Allegedly intoxicated, Galliano hurled racial and anti-semitic abuse at a Jewish woman and her Asian boyfriend.
Over the last few days Galliano's week has gone from bad to worse, with an arrest, additional charges levelled against him because of his racist behaviour and an incriminating video that chillingly depicts Galliano declare his love for Hitler.
Unsurprisingly, Galliano has since been fired from Dior, he has made a public apology and announced he is going to rehab, although what for is at the moment unclear. Additionally, Natalie Portman, currently being lavished in positive press due to her recent personal announcements and Oscar win, has announced she is severing all ties with Galliano - although not Dior itself which suggests she plans to continue as it's face.
Currently Lagerfeld, Armani, Menkes and Sozzani are the only high profile members of the industry to speak out, yet stunningly, their defences are not "defences" but range from excuses to whispers of conspiracy.
What seems to be the most shocking in this whole situation is not a talented designer's demise, it is the reluctance of the fashion industry to condemn it.
Menkes, while she does condemn his behaviour, laments the use of video-phones and the high pressure placed on Galliano -as if that was an excuse for his deporable behaviour. Armani follows a similar vein, again citing pressure as a reason for his comments and saying "I am also very sorry that they videotaped him without him knowing", blaming modern technology and the instantly accessible nature of modern news for Galliano's mistakes.
But it's not just with Galliano where the fashion industry has fallen silent. A year ago claims against Terry Richardson branded him a sexual predator with numerous models approaching the Jezebel website with claims against his inappropriate behaviour. Richardson was also publicly confronted by Rie Rasmussen, a Danish model who claimed the controversial photographer abused his position of power to harrass women.
Constantly featured in high fashion magazines such as Vogue and it's counterparts and fixated on fetishistic photoshoots where models suck on lollipops and other phallic imagery, it's not hard to imagine these claims as true. Yet nothing ever came of the allegations and Richardson continues to work. As, no doubt, will Galliano in a year's time after a healthy time away from the industry and a chance to form a PR strategy.
Fashion is a billion dollar industry, one that holds incredible clout. Yes, at the end of the day it is just clothes but with figures like Anna Wintour, Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs becoming household names, it is shameful that the industry does not speak out about these incidents. Celebrated and profitable these Galliano might be, one cannot excuse racist behaviour.
The fashion industry should own up and speak out, if not for being the decent thing to do, then at risk of being accused of holding such deplorable beliefs as well.
What's your reaction to Galliano's comments and firing? Are any of you shocked by the industry's silence, or do you disagree?