As a proud Jew, I was shocked and horrified to learn that John Galliano, one of my fashion idols, was an anti-semite. When he designed for Christian Dior, Galliano seemed larger than life and his insanely gorgeous creations opened my eyes to the glamorous world of high fashion. Galliano’s genius ignited my obsession with Haute Couture’s pomp and circumstance. However, in 2011, my fantasy of waif thin models stomping down the Dior runway draped in garish ensembles came to a tragic end. Christian Dior made the difficult decision to fire their head designer, who reinvented the maison and established it as the ruling powerhouse of fashion. Knowing that the man who inspired me with his rare talent despised me solely for my religion was devastating. Although his remarks were insulting, I missed Galliano’s presence in fashion and I would be lying if I said that a part of me wasn’t a little excited when I heard of his return as creative director of Maison Martin Margiela.
I had high hopes for his first collection, and although it opened to outstanding reviews, I thought it was a flop. Margiela’s spring-summer 2015 show only looked like couture run amock. With no relation to Maison Martin Margiela’s signature twisted romanticism and intriguing mix between high-end and low-end, Galliano’s debut felt unfocused and never once paid tribute to the label’s original codes. The slutty, rock-in-roll ensembles were overly inspired by Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent, and some of the other looks were cheap copies of McQueen masterpieces. Overall, the pieces were forced, holding no substance or fresh ideas. Just by glancing at the collection, it is obvious that Galliano is just grasping at the fleeting moments of his revolutionary time at Dior. It is a shame that the former king of couture has fallen so far from grace. Hopefully there is a redeeming collection for Galliano in the future, but this one was a major disappointment.