john galliano to talk fashion at london synagogue
After receiving spiritual guidance from a Rabbi, Galliano will appear on a fashion panel at a London synagogue.
John Galliano is set to speak on a discussion panel at the Central Synagogue in London on 28 May. Galliano has been building bridges with London's Jewish community since his anti-semitic outburst at Paris bar in 2011 led to him losing his position at Dior.
Trying to make amends the designer struck up an unlikely friendship with the Central Synagogue's Rabbi Barry Marcus after a referral from the Anti-Defamation League in New York and an introduction by Condé Nast chairman and CEO Jonathan Newhouse. In an interview with Fantastic Man, Rabbi Marcus said, "As a human being, as a Jew, as a rabbi, as a humanist, I'm almost duty-bound to open the door to somebody who wants to make amends."
"Galliano's knowledge of Jews and Judaism was actually very limited," Rabbi Marcus revealed, explaining that, "I've got Holocaust survivors in the synagogue, so taking John there was a risk. But, over time, we built up a relationship and I'm absolutely satisfied that to brand him as an anti-semite would be an injustice."
Rabbi Marcus even accepted an invite to Galliano's debut runway show for the discrete French fashion house Maison Margiela, which was held in London. Admitting that initially he wasn't sure about going, Rabbi Marcus said "But with this being his first show - his re-entry into his passion - I thought, 'If he wants me there, then who am I not to help maybe one of the greatest design talents to flourish again?'"
Galliano will appear as the keynote speaker during a fashion panel discussion at CONNECT, an evening event series of "conversations combining culture and community" hosted across London's synagogues.
Photography Sean Ellis [From i-D No. 199, The Heartbeat Issue, July 2000]