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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who is Juan Carlos Antonio Galliano-Guillén?

Who is Juan Carlos Antonio Galliano-Guillén ? The entertainment and Fashion world knows him as John Galliano, he is in the fashion world and  is a British fashion designer who was head designer of French haute couture houses Givenchy (July 1995 to October 1996) and Christian Dior (October 1996 to March 2011).

Early life and career

He was born  November 28 1960 in Gibraltar to a Gibraltarian father, Juan, and a Spanish mother, Anita, and has two sisters.[1][2][3] Galliano's father was a plumber.[4] His family moved to England in pursuit of work when Galliano was six, and settled in Streatham, South London, before moving to Dulwich.[3][5] And later to Brockley.[6] He was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family. Galliano who was shy and different often spoke of his struggle to fit in, recalling his early days, he once admitted: "I don’t think people here understood where I was coming from." Anita, a flamenco teacher, would dress him in his "smartest" outfit even for a trip to the local shops. This, combined with his creative sensibilities, saw him frequently bullied at his London boys grammar school.[3] He attended St. Anthony's RC School and Wilson's Grammar School in London and then Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, from which he graduated in 1984 with a first class honours degree in fashion design. His first collection, inspired by the French Revolution and entitled Les Incroyables, received positive reviews and was bought in its entirety by and sold in the London fashion boutique Browns. Galliano began his own label and met future collaborators Amanda Harlech, at that time stylist with Harpers and Queen, and Stephen Jones, a milliner. On the back of his overnight success, Galliano set up a studio in London, but his talent was not matched by a head for business, moreover, he would take his enjoyment of London’s nightlife to extremes.[3] He still is one of the most influential artists who work in fashion.
Initially, financial backing came from Johan Brun, and when this agreement came to an end, Danish entrepreneur Peder Bertelsen, owner of firm Aguecheek, who were also backing Katherine Hamnett at the time, took over. This agreement ended in 1988 and Galliano sought the backing of German agent Faycal Amor (owner and designer of fashion label Plein Sud) who directed him to set up his base in Paris. Galliano relocated to Paris in search of financial backing and a strong client base. His first show was in 1989 as part of Paris Fashion Week.
By 1990, he was bankrupt and, after his own London-based label failed to re-ignite his fortunes, he moved to Paris.[3]
Media fashion celebrity Susannah Constantine has worked for Galliano,[7] and he has also aided the future success of other designers including shoe designer Patrick Cox. In 1991, he collaborated with Kylie Minogue, designing the costumes for her Let's Get to It Tour.


In 1993, Galliano's financial agreement with Amor ended and he did not have a showing in October, missing the season. With the help of American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley, then European Correspondent at Vanity Fair, Galliano was introduced to Portuguese socialite and fashion patron Sao Schlumberger and financial backers of venture firm Arbela Inc, John Bult and Mark Rice. It was through this partnership that Galliano received the financial backing and high society stamp needed to give him credibility in Paris. This collection was important in the development of John Galliano as a fashion house, and is regarded as a 'fashion moment' in high fashion circles. High-profile models at this show included Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, all of whom were rumoured to have waived their usual couture appearance fees. Financial backing and the use of Schlumberger's unoccupied Parisian mansion as a temporary HQ and theatrical setting for the show allowed Galliano to produce 17 black outfits with a fifteen day deadline. High profile clients in attendance at the presentation included Madonna and Beatrice Rothschild. Fashion critics noted that his work moved away from traditional forms of pret-a-porter, becoming much more like that associated with haute couture and attracting a younger, more fashion aware customer than that of long established French fashion houses. Couture garments traditionally feature the finest quality materials, workmanship and techniques. Galliano used these techniques on a smaller scale and relaunched himself and his fashion house on the Parisian and worldwide fashion scene.
In July 1995, he was appointed as the designer of Givenchy by Bernard Arnault, owner of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, thus becoming the first British designer to head a French haute couture house. On 21 January 1996, Galliano presented his first couture show at the helm of Givenchy at the Stade Francais. The collection received high praise within the fashion media. Less than two years later, on 14 October 1996, LVMH moved Galliano to Christian Dior, replacing Italian designer Gianfranco Ferré.[8] His first couture show for Dior coincided with the label's 50th anniversary, on January 20, 1997.

Suspension and dismissal

On 25 February 2011, Dior announced that it had suspended Galliano following his arrest over an alleged anti-Semitic tirade in a Paris bar.[9] The same day, Paris-based citizen journalism site Citizenside received video of Galliano on a similar rant in the same bar the previous December. In the video drunk Galliano hurls anti-semitic rants at a group of Italian women and declares "I love Hitler... People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed." This incident happened just before Paris Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2011/2012.
The video was licensed to British tabloid newspaper The Sun, who published the video on their website.[10]
 After his comments he was impersonated on Saturday Night Live by Taran Killam.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman, an American actress who is Jewish and whose great-grandparents died at Auschwitz, had an endorsement contract with Dior for its Miss Dior Cherie fragrance. In a statement, she expressed "disgust" at Galliano's anti-semitic comments.[11] Portman said: “I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today...I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.”[12] Not everyone in the fashion industry, however, shared Portman's "disgust." Stylist and costume designer Patricia Field went all out defending Galliano by sending an email blast to 500 friends, blogs and media. She dismissed Galliano's anti-semitic rants as "theatre" and later, in a phone interview with WWD described Galliano’s videotaped behaviour as “farce” and said she was bewildered that people in the fashion community have not recognised it as such. "It’s theatre," she said. "It’s farce. But people in fashion don’t recognise the farce in it. All of a sudden they don’t know him. But it’s OK when it’s Mel BrooksThe Producers singing 'Springtime for Hitler'.”[13]
On 1 March 2011, Dior announced that it had begun procedures of dismissal for Galliano, with Dior's chief executive Sidney Toledano stating "I very firmly condemn what was said by John Galliano".[14] After the incident Galliano's popular personal website was jammed and made unavailable for visitors.[15]
Galliano has denied the allegations through his attorney,[14] and has launched a defamation lawsuit against the couple accusing him of antisemitism.[16] Various rumours have also surfaced stating that Galliano was proud of his own Jewish roots and that he was set up. "From the very first day of Fashion Week, many editors have been saying that Dior wanted to get rid of him and that a plot like this would save it from having to pay him a reported £17 million," said Marcellous L. Jones, editor-in-chief of fashion web magazine[17]
Dior announced it will continue to support the Galliano brand financially due to license despite his previous scandal involving alleged anti-semitism remarks.[18]

Criminal charges

It was reported on 2 March that Galliano was to face trial in Paris for "allegedly making racist comments to customers in a café."[19] He had allegedly apologised "unreservedly" for his behavior, while Dior described the comments in the video as "odious". According to the Financial Times, "if found guilty, Galliano could face up to six months in prison and a fine of €22,500 (US$31,187)."[20] The Daily Telegraph reported that it is believed Galliano has now left France and he was reported to be attending a rehabilitation facility, most likely The Meadows in Arizona."[21] A Paris court had ordered he stand trial on charges of "public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" against three people.[22] The trial is due to commence on 22 June 2011.[23]


He has been quoted as identifying his love of theatre and femininity as central to his creations: "my role is to seduce", he has said, and has gone so far as recreating some of Dior's period clothing for Madonna in Evita. He has also credited Standard Oil heiress Millicent Rogers as an influence.[24]
Galliano has reputedly cited Charlize Theron as a muse and has been creating couture dresses for her to wear to formal red carpet events such as the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. She is also part of the ad campaign for Dior's "J'Adore" perfume, while Riley Keough, granddaughter of Elvis Presley, fronts his "Miss Dior Cherie" perfume, and Kate Moss, in photographs by Nick Knight, his ready-to-wear campaigns as well as modelling in both couture and ready-to-wear shows. Galliano's has modeled his personal appearance after that of Ezra Pound. Hollywood film stars Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman have frequently worn dresses created by him to the Academy Awards. Galliano's Private clientele for his couture collections has included Daphne Guinness and Diana, Princess of Wales.[citation needed]
Currently, between his own label and Dior, Galliano produces six couture and ready-to-wear collections a year and a new mid-season range under his own name "G Galliano".
Similarities between Galliano and the fictional amoral fashion designer Mugatu, with his "Derelicte" homeless fashion show, from the movie Zoolander have been pointed out by some commentators.[25]


Galliano was awarded British Designer of the Year in 1987, 1994 and 1995. In 1997, he shared the award with Alexander McQueen, his successor at Givenchy.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours List[26] for his services to the Fashion Industry as a Fashion Designer. He received his CBE on 27 November 2001 at Buckingham Palace in London, England.
He was awarded the RDI in 2002 for his contribution to the fashion industry.
He has appeared on The Independent on Sunday's 2007 "pink list" for being one of "the most influential gay people in Britain."[27]
In 2009, Galliano received the French Legion of Honour, previously awarded to such fashion luminaries as Yves Saint Laurent, Azzedine Alaïa and Suzy Menkes, to name a few.[28]


John Galliano and Alexis Roche
Galliano shared his Paris home with his long-term boyfriend Alexis Roche, a style consultant. Galliano became a familiar figure on the streets of Le Marais, an area of Paris popular with gays and also the city’s Jewish community. Reportedly he himself has Jewish ancestry from the Sephardi Jews who came from Spain and Portugal in the 19th century.[3]



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