The continuing fall from grace of John Galliano has hit a new low.
Almost one year after his September 2011 conviction for “public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” (the actual offences occurred in October 2010 and February 2011), the British designer has been stripped of his Legion of Honor award by French president François Hollande. The award was given to Galliano in 2009.
The one time creative director at the House of Dior (his contract with the fashion house was terminated in March 2011), and four times winner of British Fashion Designer of the Year, Galliano has been to all intents and purposes been socially shunned since his trial and conviction.
Jewish actress Natalie Portman and one time ‘face’ of Dior, went on record at the time saying she was “shocked” and “disgusted“ by the designer’s comments. Not everyone has deserted Galliano though. Old friend and supermodel Kate Moss commissioned him for her July wedding 2011 where she wore the vintage dress Galliano designed. And this year, the disgraced one was snapped having lunch with Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief at U.S Vogue, at the Ritz in Paris in July.
At his trial on 22 June 2011, the court was regaled with horrifying details of how Galliano harassed museum curator Geraldine Bloch about her Jewish heritage. He also racially abused a South Asian friend of Bloch before police intervened. Video footage of Galliano declaring his love for Hitler at La Perle café in Paris on a further, separate occasion was also shown to the court.
Galliano apologized for his behavior in a statement in March 2011 and said he was:
“seeking help … to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people’s forgiveness.”
At his trial, the designer offered the fact that he was “a recovering alcoholic, a recovering addict” and the pressures of his high profile position at Dior as mitigation for his behavior.
Galliano, who entered rehab for addiction to Valium and alcohol in March 2011 while awaiting trial, admitted that he was in “complete denial” about his addictions at the time of the offences and, in fact, remembered nothing about the incidents even happening. Galliano’s, then, defense lawyer Aurelien Hamelle said his client’s alcoholic and “pathological state” could be medically proven by experts.
Today, the designer’s friends are said to deeply concerned about how this latest public shaming will affect the 51-year-old’s state of mind and health.