August 21 2014

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Memorable Moments From Galliano’s Sit-down With Charlie Rose


John Galliano on Charlie Rose

Between Ingrid Sischy’s interview in Vanity Fair‘s July issue, Jonathan Newhouse’s profession of support, Cathy Horyn’s call for him to pave his own way back, and last night’s Charlie Rose sit-down, John Galliano has been monopolizing headlines of late. And understandably so—the pair of interviews marked the first time the former Dior designer spoke with journalists on the subject of his racist rant and struggle with addiction that ultimately led to his dismissal from the storied fashion house. If you missed his sober chat with Rose—during which Galliano was almost unrecognizable, having traded his signature matador and pirate ensembles for a blue oxford and blazer—we suggest you give it a watch. Galliano, who sometimes inspires sympathy and sometimes doesn’t, told Rose that it would be his last interview on the topic (he said additional discussions wouldn’t be “wise”). Here, a rundown of the apologetic designer’s most notable comments on such topics as Lee McQueen, the infamous video, his recovery, and his comeback.

On the video and the aftermath:

“No one was more shocked than myself, Charlie… At that point in my career I had become what is known as a blackout drinker. It’s where one can’t transfer short-term memory into long-term memory, so I have no memory of that event.”

“I was emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally bankrupt. I didn’t know it, but I had a very big breakdown. Nervous breakdown, mental breakdown, emotional breakdown. I didn’t know, but I couldn’t begin to describe how that felt. And I was in denial.”

“[Natalie Portman] was right to say what she said. What I said was disgusting.”

On success and addiction:

“Along with all the successes came more collections. At that moment I was producing 32 collections a year between the house of Galliano and the house of Dior. And each collection would comprise about 1,000 pieces. Would you like me to run through the collections for you? We won’t have time.”

“By then, I was a slave to alcohol, then I would take the Valium to stop the shaking to do the fittings, and the sleeping pills so I could sleep. I was traveling a lot and my life became unmanageable.”

On Alexander McQueen’s suicide:

“I knew Alexander. I knew Lee. I understood…that loneliness, that pain. I mean, as addicts we’re in such a perfection, we’re setting that bar impossibly high. We don’t understand when we’re doing it, and people say ‘Wow, how are you gonna top that?’ and we say, ‘Well yeah, we’re going to. Don’t worry.’ That’s what makes us wake up in the morning. I was very sad.”

On recovery:

“I’m a troubled soul. I’m a lost soul. It wasn’t until a week in [rehab] that I could say, ‘I’m an alcoholic. I’m an addict’”

“I will be in recovery for the rest of my life, and I will bare that tattoo on my soul forever, which is a constant reminder of the evil of drink and drugs, both of which one could buy over the counter in Europe.”

“I never want to be in that place again, Charlie. You’ve read about hell. That was hell for me.”

On his relevance and presumed comeback:

“I think the creative process will be the same for me, and I enjoy that and it brings a richness to the collections, but of course the collections have to be relevant. I dare women to dream, and they will always want beautifully cut clothes and a beautifully cut jacket. There will always be that desire. Those clothes will always be relevant.”

“I’m able to create. I’m ready to create. I’m feeling fit. I’m feeling good. It really all depends on these steps that I’m taking. I hope that, through my atonement, I’ll be given a second chance. A second chance.”



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