Christian Dior’s CEO Christian Toledano gave a sober speech before the fashion house’s Paris runway show today under a tent in the gardens of the Rodin Museum. Without mentioning him by name, Toledano, who is Jewish, said creative director John Galliano’s videotaped anti-Semitic rant and its aftermath were “disgraceful,” “terrible,” and “wrenching,” and that it was time for Dior to re-commit to its values. He also emphasized that the collection was the result of “the extraordinary, creative, and marvelous efforts of these loyal, hardworking people,” by gathering the Dior ateliers in their white lab coats on the runway for a bow.
ABC News said there were few celebrities in attendance, and Cathy Horyn of the New York Times said the entrance was a mob scene of 300 or so bystanders, and that the mood was somber, almost funereal. I’m curious who declined to attend. If I were lucky enough to be among front row invitees to any show, it would be a tough decision on whether to show up for this one, but as a reporter I would feel obliged to attend. It’s also true that any collection is the collaborative work of numerous creative individuals, so why punish them? Plus the fact that Galliano was hanging out at La Perle for seemingly long periods of time the week before his Fall 2011 fashion show makes me wonder how much work he actually did for this collection. Still, if I were a celebrity (and not a journalist), I’d stay home. His remarks were too hateful, and I can’t help but wonder how much the executives at Dior knew about Galliano’s bigotry before the dust up? Perhaps he should have been let go sooner. Would you go to the show? Or perhaps you could not care less?
Style.com doesn’t have the show up yet… we’ll keep you posted when it goes live.