Jun 28, 2011 12:00AM

John Galliano Won't Return To Lvmh

Galliano's long-term assistant has been named to replace the troubled designer.

Never underestimate the power of an apology. Chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, has finally confirmed that John Galliano will not be returning to his eponymous label, nor will he be working for any of the luxury group's brands ever again. The group suspended Galliano in February after he was caught on camera erupting in a drunken tirade of anti-Semitic remarks towards a woman in a bar —also launching an attack on her boots, bag and thighs, after which rumours surfaced that there had been informal conversations amongst LVMH staff regarding the feasibility of him returning to the label. Arnault has disputed these comments, and was further disappointed that Galliano didn't have the simple politeness to contact him following his arrest.

Well maybe an apologetic phone call isn't quite sufficient to counter slurs about having a "dirty Jewish face", low-end boots and low-end thighs —even if you don't actually remember making the comments, as Galliano claims. Fashion is an industry based on appearances, and in the interests of the LVMH group retaining its reputation for sophistication and elegance, Bill Gaytten has been named the new creative director of John Galliano. Gaytten was hand-picked by Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano after working under Galliano for 23 years, and it was Gaytten who took the final bow at the John Galliano men's show on Friday in Paris. Gaytten will also be responsible for the couture collection of Christian Dior next week, prompting speculation about whether he'll be permanently charged with filling Galliano's high-end pirate boots there too.

It's regrettable that we'll never get to see John Galliano delivering his signature bow in his finest Jack Sparrow couture again, but critics have been heaping the praise on Gaytten's lighter, more accessible menswear. Stay tuned for more on the Paris menswear shows, our seasonal wrap will be posted tomorrow.

Hannah Ongley

www.johngalliano.com