Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fashion über alles

Not terribly surprisingly, the Sartorialist, who's often under fire for his commitment to show how fashionable it is to smoke cigarettes and generally to weigh three pounds, and who inevitably tosses in a few comments about how pro-healthy-lifestyle he is before reverting to business as usual, is miffed that John Galliano's fashion career may (momentarily, obvs, as these things always go) suffer for having allegedly aimed anti-Semitic remarks at a (non-Jewish, but allegedly ugly-bag-carrying) stranger at a café in the gay-and-Jewish Marais neighborhood of Paris.

There are two points here - the principle of innocent until proven guilty, which our international legal expert the Sartorialist explains is valid in Paris as well (although isn't this more about a company's PR, which is and ought to be more stringent than the law? and seems he wasn't even fired, just suspended!), and the question of whether Art (in this case Fashion) should be so revered that one of its princes should be allowed to do whatever he damn well pleases. Roman Polanski territory.

The Sartorialist does not explicitly state the latter, but this is so clearly the perspective from which he's coming at the question. I mean, ugh. If the man was an expert at some rare kind of brain surgery, we might think the loss was too great for even a few days. But he's scheduled to design Kate Moss's wedding dress. This can wait.

One commenter sees it otherwise:

This is so stupid, everyone loooves John Galliano and there is no Dior imaginable without him...:-(

This would be a tragedy.

Another speculates:
This may sound crass but when it comes to businesses, appearances are all the more important. Dior is likely thinking of their Semetic customers, right along with having no tolerance for anti-Semetic remarks for purely moral reasons.
Speaking as a Semetic sort, I promise that this event has in no way changed the amount of Dior I purchase.

Mr. Toledano (Sephardic Jewish) has suspended Galliano for "zero-tolerence for anti-semitic remarks".Each draw their own conclusions.
The nerve! Imagine insulting the minority group one's boss comes from and this being a problem for one's job! Life is so unfair! 

And here's a doozy:
I am with you Scott, also all the way behind John. In sports, suspension is agreed upon before the 'game' starts. Dior's reaction: disproportionate, haste, absurd and harmful comes as a slap in the hand to the couturier that injected new blood to the House. If Galliano is a gentleman, he will right this wrong and maybe reconsider working for LVMH which is NOT but only OWNS Dior. Shameful behaivour of the money always. Talent will prevail, and Galliano will be Galliano at any measure."
Money handlers!

My favorite comment, however, is an explanation of the French legal process that begins, "europeans don't live in trees anymore," leaving me desperately curious to know when, precisely, Europeans stopped doing so.


Eamonn McDonagh said...

He's done it again

kei said...

I thought the above comment was referring to the Sartorialist; this isn't the first time he's flirted with racism. I guess his intentions are pro-humanity, or something like that, but he often comes across as oblivious and ignorant when he tries to "[go] a little deeper than hemlines and color schemes," as he says in his updated post on matter. He should really just avoid that territory.

Of the comments that appeared in his first post, it's kind of interesting that you do get "a great diversity of views and opinions." (Although, people pointing out technicalities about the French legal system--is that "views and opinions"? Anyway.) I wonder if some people who comment have pre-existing anti-Semitic/anti-PC sentiments, or if they are just sort of following the Sartorialist blindly, like "Yeah! What he said!" Both kinds of comments are disturbing in their own ways, but I'm noticing a lot more of the latter with fashion blogs. (Followed by a link to the commentator's own fashion blog.) I guess you could differentiate them if you look carefully, but I really don't feel like looking through them again.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...




You're right that it's not clear what's bigotry and what's the acolytish tendency of fashion-blog commenters. (Also true, apparently, of food-blog commenters.) The usual online urge to point out missteps with too much bluntness (anonymity and all that) veers off to the other extreme - as you point out, there's inevitably a link provided in the hopes of self-promotion. As though, if one is sufficiently supportive of everything the Sartorialist expresses, one will become the kind of style-blogger who can post photos of herself with "c/o" included, for legal reasons, in the captions, because all the clothes were free. This is why I include this latest Sartorialist-veering-off-into-something-other-than-the-pretty incident with the moments he attempts to address the question of fashion and health. I suspect the knee-jerk pro-Galliano commenters would be just as supportive of the cigarettes-and-emaciation-as-prerequisites-for-style approach, not because anti-Semitism and anti-healthism are part of the same coherent anti-PC message, but because the Sartorialist represents Fashion, and obeying his every moronic utterance is viewed as a way to gain a piece of the action.

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