Designer John Galliano will attend his trial this week in Paris on Wednesday, June 22nd at 2PM and the case will be heard by three judges. The scene is expected to be a media circus as the court is open to the public and anyone can attend. According to published reports on British Vogue’s website today the initial hearing is likely to last between four and five hours with witnesses from both sides to be heard.
In February designer John Galliano was suspended by Dior a week before Fall 2011 fashion week after claims of antisemitic rant.
Galliano will be represented by his new lawyer, Aurélien Hamelle of Metzner Associés. Geraldine Bloch, Philippe Virgitti and Fathia Oumeddour were named as the plaintiffs, WWD reports.
Galliano who has been in rehab since early March, may remain in rehab. “John is still in rehab,” a source close to the designer told British Vogue today ahead of Wednesday’s trial. “The treatment will be long and arduous – and ongoing for a long time in the future – but he is humble, apologetic and hopeful that he can recover.”
Legendary fashion commentator Colin McDowell has weighed in on the John Galliano debate with a piece in yesterday’s Sunday Times Style. He suggests that Galliano’s alcoholism should have been tackled by senior figures at Dior or LVMH before disaster struck.
McDowell explains in the Times, “Galliano was the goose laying the golden eggs. Didn’t anyone care enough for the future of Dior, and the unique position of couture, that his genius had helped to create, to try to help him out? Are we to believe that colleagues at all levels were too afraid to address the problem?
Why was Galliano, vulnerable and drunk, possibly upset by some intractable design problem, allowed to wander Paris, alone, done up in a way that would immediately draw attention?”
McDowell adds that the death of Galliano’s friend and long-time collaborator Steven Robinson certainly affected the designer immeasurably.”Many expected that Robinson’s early death [in 2007], at only 38, would throw Galliano completely, and people waited for an aesthetic wobble. It didn’t happen.
But privately, Galliano felt creatively bereft as, a hundred times a day, he found himself saying: ‘Ask Steven’, ‘Tell Steven’, ‘Steven knows’, before it finally sank in that there was no Steven by his side any more.”And, whilst many credit the enormous pressure he was under, one Galliano team member tells McDowell that many of the demands were self-inflicted.”He was put under impossible pressure, not only by the demands made by Dior, but also what he demanded of himself,” the team member tells McDowell. “John is a method designer, like a method actor. He doesn’t just design a collection – he becomes the collection. He role-plays every part of it.”