Galliano in the dock

John Galliano's trial for anti-semitism will begin this week in Paris. No jury has been called for the case, as according to French law, the allegations are considered to be 'minor'. Members of the public are free to attend. On the eve of the trial, Colin McDowell, a fashion academic, has criticised Dior for allowing Galliano's alcohlism and mental problems to go untreated.

Fashion expert Colin McDowell wrote in The Times, 'Galliano was the goose laying the golden eggs. Didn't anyone care enough for the future of Dior, and the unique position of couture, that his genius had helped to create, to try to help him out? Are we to believe that colleagues at all levels were too afraid to address the problem? Why was Galliano, vulnerable and drunk, possibly upset by some intractable design problem, allowed to wander Paris, alone, done up in a way that would immediately draw attention?'

Colin claimed that Galliano's breakdown may have been precipitated by the death of his collaborator, 'Many expected that Robinson's early death [in 2007], at only 38, would throw Galliano completely, and people waited for an aesthetic wobble. It didn't happen. But privately, Galliano felt creatively bereft as, a hundred times a day, he found himself saying: 'Ask Steven', 'Tell Steven', 'Steven knows', before it finally sank in that there was no Steven by his side any more.'

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