Since he was ousted as creative director at Christian Dior for making drunken anti-Semitic statements outside a Paris cafe, John Galliano has been laying low in terms of talking to the press. Last spring, for the first time since he was fired from Dior, Galliano finally broke his silence on the incident, his drug addiction and continued recovery in interviews with Charlie Rose and Vanity Fair magazine He's kept pretty mum since then, immersing himself in projects for Oscar de la Renta, and now as creative director of L'Etoile. Finally the designer is opening up again to the weekly Le Point and French psychologist Boris Cyrulnik on what he's learned post-"I love Hitler"-gate. Galliano actually approached Le Point for the interview, which the designer considers as part of his overall recovery.
In the sit-down, Galliano is reflective and thoughtful, looking on the incident as a point of growth. “I’ve lost, but I also gained a lot. I’m a creative person, and no one can take that away from me. I’ve been told I committed professional suicide because it was the only escape from the terrible pressures I was facing. What do you think?” he said in response when asked if the thought he was punished too severely for his actions. Cyrulnik responded, pointing out that suicidal thoughts are not often a desire to die, but rather to wake up into another, better life. His suggestion to Galliano for managing the stress? Find a better work/life balance.
Galliano also talks about his childhood, and how being teased about his sexual orientation in school caused him to turn to hard substances. "What happened in the Parisian cafe La Perle was a defence mechanism," he said. "I repeated a pattern that I had known as a teenager and I was in an explosive mix of drugs and alcohol. February 24, 2011 I was no longer myself. I said the most terrible, the most unbearable, the most horrible thing [there is]." The workload at Dior also caused him a great deal of stress, having to come up with collection after collection for the many seasons Dior churns out. “After every creative high, I would crash and the drink would help me to escape,” he told a packed courtroom during the seven-hour hearing. “I started to have panic attacks and anxiety attacks, and I couldn’t go to work without taking Valium. My body was becoming so used to the pills, so my intake increased to an amount where I can’t actually remember how many I was taking. Sometimes I was taking sleeping pills during the day.”
This is nothing new. Galliano has been pretty open about his substance abuse and how it was largely a part of his downfall. But hopefully with this new job, and very public therapy session, the designer can continue to find the strength to move on and get better.
[via The Independent]