John Gallianos fashion world comeback has hit a stumbling block: his hotly-tipped teaching gig at New Yorks prestigious Parsons college has been cancelled almost as quickly as it was confirmed.
The reason? He has refused to participate in an open forum discussing his career which, inevitably, wouldve touched upon the anti-Semitic scandal that cost him his position at Christian Dior and landed him in court.
In an open email sent to students, senior Parsons staff explain the sticky situation thus:
It was a condition of our agreeing to host Mr. Galliano that we also hold a larger forum, which would include a frank discussion of his career. Ultimately, an agreement could not be reached with Mr. Galliano regarding the details of that forum, and so the program will not move forward.
As we have expressed over the past weeks, a critical element of a New School education is the connection between creative and intellectual invention and an individuals actions in the world at large. While we understand the pressures Mr. Galliano faces, we expected to invite students, faculty and staff to ask Mr. Galliano how his trajectory as a designer was changed by his offensive remarks and to learn from that example.
We continue to believe there is room at Parsons to explore Mr. Gallianos efforts to make amends for his actions and that members of our community will decide for themselves how to view his contributions. It is certain this would not have been an easy or comfortable conversation but our mission is to provide uncommon learning opportunities that transcend the boundaries of the disciplines.
Having been largely absent from the fashion scene since his trial in Paris in 2011, Galliano made his tentative first steps back into public life in January, when it was announced that he would be collaborating with Oscar de la Renta; the resulting a/w13 collection won rave reviews.
A teaching post at Parsons was largely seen as politic next step forward.
Ironically, the three-day workshop that has been cancelled was to be called Show Me Your Emotion!