Outrage propelled Galliano's rise and fall

Tue Mar 1, 2011 3:33pm EST
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By Nick Vinocur

PARIS (Reuters) - John Galliano brought flair, vision and a touch of outrage to Dior when he joined the Parisian brand over a decade ago, keeping it in the spotlight as some other legacy fashion houses faded into quaintness.

But it was outrage off the catwalk that eventually destroyed his career there. Dior fired Galliano as its creative director on Tuesday, citing alleged anti-Semitic remarks he made in a drunken outburst at a bar near his Paris home.

The British designer's abrupt departure from Dior, three days before he was to present its fall-winter womenswear collection, marked the end of one of the longest-running and most successful collaborations in the world of high fashion.

It was unclear whether his show for Dior would go ahead on Friday with the star designer, who denies any misconduct, awaiting the outcome of a police inquiry into his outburst last week.

Yet the saga has already cast a shadow over one of the most head-turning design careers of recent decades.

Before Dior, Galliano was already making a name with his flamboyant style, dressing stars like Kylie Minogue and Madonna.

In the late 1990s he chopped off his dreadlocks for a job interview with Dior, and over the following years cemented his reputation as one of the most influential living designers alongside Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

His collections for Dior were uproarious jaunts that often drew on history, interpreting centuries of fashion trends in a single show and bringing the brand newfound popularity among the fashionistas of Latin America and the Far East.   Continued...

<p>British designer John Galliano appears at the end of his Fall/Winter 2010/11 women's ready-to-wear fashion show for French fashion house Dior during Paris Fashion Week on March 5, 2010. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>