I've been spending my recent free time making my way through all the online interviews from this past British Vogue Festival. They're all perfectly interesting and entertaining, but an interview between Alexandra Schulman and John Galliano really stood out to me. John Galliano has been such a hot topic recently, between his long awaited return to fashion and his first shows for Maison Margiela, but we haven't really gotten his response on all of it. (The only one I've read was Hamish Bowles' "Bringing Back the Magic" in the February issue of Vogue; needless to say one of my favorite Vogue articles in a while.)
I watched Galliano's interview with Charlie Rose a while ago and was immediately charmed by Galliano's character. But by no means would I describe him as charming. On camera, at least, he has a small presence and voice, but he's also so obviously brimming with brilliance; this is evident when he talks about his clothes, especially. Those little dark eyes of his sparkle at the topic of clothes, visibly showing his inner, true passion for fashion. He seems humbled by his experiences; a stark contrast to what I've seen and heard about his old, extravagant persona and shows. John Galliano's exile was necessary for obvious reasons, but it improved him as a person and designer. I'd much prefer him fading out for a bit, then coming back shining brighter than ever, rather than burning out completely. He was on the top of the world then, and he'll undoubtedly be on top again, but this time he's focused, humbled, and wise.
While the Charlie Rose interview was thoughtful, it was also a little bit frustrating. As a non-fashion person, Charlie Rose would sometimes say things that were just a bit off. The interview at the Vogue Festival really hit the spot because it was a fellow fashion person talking to another fashion person in a room of fashion people in a festival for fashion. Charlie Rose's interview might have been clearer for non-fashion people, but if you knew your stuff, this interview was very satisfying.
Galliano spoke of his beginning in fashion, answered all Schulman's questions, gave tips, engaged in pleasantry and small talk, but his brilliance really showed when he was talking about his clothes from the 'Artisanal' collection. When first looked at the 'brides' and ornamentation on some of the pieces, I suspected spontaneity and randomness mixed in with the genius. But actually hearing his creative process in creating these beautiful monsters, was fascinating and only adds to his brilliance and my admiration of him. He is a true genius in intentional craftsmanship, quality, and design. Don't believe me? Just watch the video and find out for yourself.