Fashion designer John Galliano, already notorious for an anti-Semitic outburst, has caused upset yet again, being spotted in New York Tuesday in an outfit that mimicked Hasidic Jewish clothing.
Galliano was seen in an outfit that included a long jacket, hat and curly “peyos,” or sidelocks as he made his way to Oscar de la Renta’s Fashion Week show, The New York Post reported.
(View photo here.)
News of the fashion flub has stunned many in New York’s Jewish community, who are wondering what kind of message the designer was attempting to portray.
“He’s trying to embarrass people in the Jewish community and make money on clothes [while] dressed like people he has insulted,” irate Williamsburg community leader Isaac Abraham told the Post, adding that the hairstyle made the outfit look as if it was worn purposely to insult.
Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an outspoken Orthodox Jew, said to the Post, “Who is he mocking?” The way the socks look, the jacket, the peyos . . . My question is, who’s he laughing at?”
“If it was just anyone else, I wouldn’t know what to say. But considering who this guy is, considering his background and what he’s said in the past, let him explain it to all of us: Are you mocking us?”
According to the Daily Mail, it remains unknown whether the designer wore the outfit to de la Renta’s fashion show.
Galliano was notably fired from Christian Dior in 2011 after a video surfaced of him shouting anti-Semitic slurs in a Paris café, La Perle. The video captured him saying, “I love Hitler,” and telling a woman who was not Jewish, but rather Italian, “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed.”
He has also reportedly had several other public outbursts prior to the recorded incident. His actions caused him to face up to six months in jail; however, he was instead fined 6,000 euros as well as other symbolic damages. He was also stripped of his French Legion of Honor.
Since then, Galliano has attempted to clean up his image. Most recently, he has been working with Oscar de la Renta’s studio in the weeks prior to New York Fashion Week.
The designer has also expressed remorse for his actions in interviews. Speaking to WWD last month, Galliano admitted to being an alcoholic.
“I have been in recovery for the past two years. ... I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt,” he told the magazine.
“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.”
Galliano got support this time from a surprising corner, the Anti-Defamation League. The Jewish advocacy group claims that the Post’s assessment of the designer’s dress was an “absurd distortion,” The New York Observer reported.
“There is no truth to their accusation that John Galliano was dressed in Hasidic garb, and anyone familiar with the dress of traditional Orthodox Jews should not mistake what Galliano is wearing in the photograph as ‘Hasidic garb.’ Hasidim do not wear fedora hats, pinstripe pants, blue jackets or an ascot tie,” ADL chief Abraham Foxman said in a press release.
But many remain troubled by Galliano’s suggestive behavior.
“This was not very smart, unless he really wants attention. I’m hoping that this is not in any way a mockery through this attire,” rabbi and fashion designer Tobi Rubinstein Schneier said to the Post.
While a commentator from the Lower East Side told the Mail Online, “Either Galliano is so deluded that he thinks wearing an outfit inspired by the dress of Hasidic Jews is some kind of apology, or it is simply another callous insult from someone who is already known as a drunken anti-Semite. Either way he's an a**hole.”
Galliano’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, told the Post, “Your accusations are not at all correct.”