The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

John Galliano

Although, there are folks who are toxic, (believe me, I have my fair share in my family), there are those who really mess up and then work really hard to come back.  Actually I think folks who do this have a lot more to offer, cause they have seen their bottom (so to speak). And what happens to folks like this is that they have seen their own devil and know it and hopefully know how to prevent it from happening again.

There are a lot of drunks out there who have come back from the edge of the world and sobered up and gone on to make worthwhile contributions to this world.

And there are a lot of folks who have virtually no underpinnings of character or spirit or soul or however you like to say it, and when push comes to shove, (cause living in this world and life….shit happens), they often fall off the edge.   Some are rescued, some get the chance to rescue themselves, and some fall off like Alexander McQueen – never to be seen again and it is a loss for them and the rest of us, particularly when they are talented.

I mean – look at this guy….does he have any semblance of 1.) reality, 2.) coping skills,  3.)boundaries – and by that the means, will and wherewithal to say no and mean it and say yes and mean it as well, and 4.) security or self-assurance (not egotism – they are different).  I would say no.  And I would also say that without those characteristics, this is a train wreck just waiting to happen.

Talent, and I’m talking about real, unequivocal, unashamed, blatant talent, is something that is not hard to recognize but it is often hard to understand.  It’s as much hard to understand for the talented, for most often they live in a world where last week’s creation has and must be topped this week, and on and on, never accounting for the ebb and flow of normal life.  Everyone wants to jump on the band wagon when the talent is stretching and growing toward the top but not when it’s cratering.

When Galliano’s fall happened in 2011, he was supposedly at the pinnacle and very top of his career, with enviable client list, adoring fashion magazine editors, even the bean-counters at Dior were pleased.  But one thing was horribly wrong, and it went kaput overnight.

Fortunately for him and for the rest of us, this guy did get the chance to come back from the edge.  He has made what appears to be a real and concerted effort to get back into the world he loves and he can so adeptly contribute to.  Here he is today – a much saner and more real person.  Doesn’t he even look saner?

And here you have the evidence.  A much more sane and sharper look in the eye and in the  mind.   He has recently done his first sober interview in Vanity Fair.

Anyone who has seen that remarkable series, Signe Chanel, of Karl Lagerfeld and his 2008 couture season, you will have an immense appreciation for the designing head of a major fashion maison in Paris or elsewhere.  There is a tremendous amount of pressure put on these designers to perform, perform, perform – and when they have a particularly good year, it’s perform, perform and better perform again.  The major houses are almost all owned by conglomerates and corporations who have bean-counters constantly nipping at everyone’s heels to be more and more productive to make more and more money each year, so if a designer has an “off” year, it’s time to fire him and move on.  With that sort of pressure it’s no wonder that many of them either burn out or flame out or dope out to cope with the pressure.  Unless of course you have some decent underpinnings like a good sense of who you are and what you can do and what you can’t do and who you aren’t and no one can shake or rattle you to make you believe differently.

The problem is that artist performs a rather ethereal task and very difficult to describe.  A creation starts as a thought inside the artist’s head then furthers into a vision, then as the technical machinations that make up the vision, then into reality…..from a chemical synapse in the brain to an object that has mass and takes up space.  As Shakespeare says:

We cannot conceive of matter being formed of nothing, since things require a seed to start from…..paraphrased a little.

The point here is that it’s hard for most folks to envision or even understand the creative process (and that CERTAINLY includes bean-counters and corporate boards who are answering to their stock holders who may find it a caché to participate in the stock ownership of a Parisian Maison, but nevertheless expect to make money more than anything else.)  Point to made here is that as you create, it’s a hard and abstract and very etherial process to understand – even for the masters and the professionals.

I do agree with Cathy Horyn who would like to have seen more in this Vanity Fair interview.   I’ve read the interview and Ingrid Sischy did a good job, albeit most of the article was taken up with his fall from grace, and thankyouverymuchladiesandgentlemen but have heard all that before.  I was more interested on why Sischy thought the interviewee was so credible.

That we need to see Mr. Galliano go out and go it on his own was Horyn’s point and she’s right.  He did have substantial help, even though he showed incredible talent from the very beginning, but now it’s time for him to do this on his own.  There’s sort of a pay your dues think that goes on and helps keep you sane when the good times come, because believe it or not, the good times are much tougher than the bad times – that’s not to say, I would want to have bad times all around.  It’s to say that I know many more unhappy wealthy folks that unhappy folks who are seem to be just making it by – just able to pay the bills, get their kids through college, always a struggle to make the monthly payments – that sort of thing.

That there is a mass of folks who want to help him, is not only admirable, but speaks to this artist’s real talent.  That said him doing it on his own to show his ability to deal with designing again without being half out of it is what is really needed here – to go through the struggle and NOT cop-out with the drugs/alcohol or whatever.  However, I disagree with Ms. Horyn that he was out of it in his last few shows, and granted maybe he was, but in my mind he was just as brilliant as ever, making his fall from grace even that much more harder?…..longer?…worse?…however you want to describe it.  It seems also that much more sad.    Hopefully he can draw from within himself and learn to find the wherewithal to make his comeback all that much more wonderful.

For a fall from grace, once survive, makes a man stronger as that which does not kill us, makes us stronger (and I’m not a fan of Nietzsche at all!!!!)

For a real view of Galliano, (so you can get a sense of this person for yourself), here’s part of an interview he did with Charlie Rose, and there’s a genuineness in his voice, that I think Sischy probably sensed as well, but there’s nothing like hearing the voice, seeing the eyes to gain a sense of a person, although we can all be taken in and can be lied to successfully.

Maye it’s just me – I would like to believe the best, cause I hate to see the disappearance of an artist and adore – let me say that again – I ADORE seeing an artist return to Earth….land….stand up right AND continue to create in as genius a manner as before without the drugs.  It’s such an inspiration for us all.  IOW, we don’t need to be drunk or wired or doped to create beautiful things.

Who doesn’t love a message like that!!!

So hopefully my parting moniker will mean a lot more…..


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