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John Galliano Is Happy to Be Alive, Sober, and Designing for Maison Margiela

Photo: Maison Margiela
Photo: Maison Margiela

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John Galliano sounds incredibly grateful to return to the fashion world in Hamish Bowle’s Vogue profile in the magazine's March issue. The Vogue writer and the designer spoke about Galliano’s appointment to the helm of Maison Margiela and his career resurrection after being fired from Dior for his public anti-Semitic remarks.

Of their conversation over Japanese tea in Galliano’s studio, lit with flickering candles, Bowles writes:

Today, the designer is marveling in the world around him. "It’s great just being alive again," he says, "and every experience is new." He adds, in a confidential whisper, "I’ve never done this sober before. And I have to keep reminding myself that it’s actually quite normal. It’s actually quite nice, John."

Bowles also really sets the scene at the London show for Galliano’s first Artisinal collection for Maison Margiela held in January. Everyone in the audience has a Galliano connection. His '80s-club-kid friends and St. Martin's School of Art tutors attended, as did Manolo Blahnik, Alber Elbaz, the rabbi who coached [him] on the tenets of Judiasm as an element of his rehabilitation," and Kate Moss, who arrived late while giggling and complaining about the "school-run mum traffic."

Galliano describes the Artisanal collection as "the parfum of the house, which both informs and inspires the eau de toilette. What I'm trying to do through this collection is to establish my intentions and to show what it feels like to wear Margiela today."

He also says that he wants to fuse his own romantic style with the history of Margiela. He met with Martin Margiela, the founder of the house, and wouldn’t reveal much of his hours-long conversation with the very private man other than that he told him, "Make it your own."

Galliano tells Bowles: "Hey, already to be given this second chance, I’m so grateful for it. It’s been such a joy to be able to create…It’s opening up your heart, which is what I’ve had to do . . . to bare myself, to be honest with myself."