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Galliano set for comeback?

By Leisa Barnett

Could John Galliano be about to make a grand fashion-world comeback? Oscar de la Renta has opened his NY-based studio to the disgraced former head of Christian Dior – who has been largely absent from the industry for two years since he spectacularly ended up in court – in order for him to ‘reacclimate’ with work.

Galliano was sentenced to suspended fines totalling 6,000 euros, plus symbolic damages and costs, having been found guilty of racist and anti-Semitic charges brought against him in the spring of 2011. He has since largely disappeared from the fashion scene – although he did, quietly, design the dress of his close friend Kate Moss for her July 2011 wedding to Jamie Hince.

‘John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent,’ de la Renta says of his public show of support. ‘He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative.’

Galliano is expected to ‘spend time’ with de la Renta over the next three weeks – a crucial time in the fashion calendar as New York Fashion Week approaches. The latter has, however, warned against jumping to the conclusion that he is to retire and Galliano replace him, saying ‘I hope to be around for a long time’.

It is no secret that Galliano, who has blamed work pressures and various addictions for his devastating outburst, has been working on his recovery in his absence and he admits that he is humbled by de la Renta’s high-profile gesture.

‘I am an alcoholic,’ Galliano says. ‘I have been in recovery for the past two years. Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease. I said and did things which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community. I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I caused, and I continue to do so. I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt.’

‘I think John is doing all the right things,’ de la Renta tells WWD. ‘Everyone in life deserves a second chance, especially someone as talented as John. I think that life is about forgiving and helping people.’

John Galliano's own-name label has continued in his absence under the creative direction of Bill Gaytten. Its autumn/winter 2013 menswear collection will show at Paris Fashion Week today.

Now the question on everyone's lips is, can we expect a Lance-style confession from Galliano on Oprah?

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