We hope you're sitting down; this is EXPLOSIVE!
Getting candid in his first interview since his anti-Semitic rantings cost him his job and reputation, John Galliano speaks with Vanity Fair's Ingrid Sischy about his drug addiction, his personal demons, and the night at the Paris cafe that changed everything.
Recalling the infamous night in 2010, John admitted:
"It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it. . . . I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realize I was so f***ing angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could."
Wow. And that's just the beginning!
On his reaction after seeing the video of his drunken tirade:
"When everyone came over to tell me that I had done these terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what had gone down. My assistant told me about the video. When I saw it, I threw up. The feeling was like I was about to take a step out onto the street and a bus or truck whooshed past me and the blood was drained from my legs. I was paralyzed from the fear."
On his broken relationship with Bill Gaytten, who took over the John Galliano line after John was fired:
"Bill said, ‘Do you realize what you’ve fucking done? and I said, ‘Kind of.’ But I still didn’t. I couldn’t say yes. I just couldn’t. And those were the last words we shared. That’s someone I’ve known for 30 years. Even now I’m still learning every day how many people I hurt."
On his downward spiral into alcohol and drug addiction:
"I never drank in order to be creative, or to do the research. I didn’t need alcohol for any of that. At first alcohol was like a crutch outside of Dior. Then I would use it to crash after the collections. I’d take a couple of days to get over it, like everyone. But with more collections, the crash happened more often, and then I was a slave to it. Then the pills kicked in because I couldn’t sleep. Then the other pills kicked in because I couldn’t stop shaking. I would also have these huge bottles of liquor that people got for me. Towards the end, it was whatever I could get my hands on. Vodka, or vodka-and-tonic. Wine, in the belief it would help me sleep. Wrong. I did manage to stop the voices. I had all these voices in my head, asking so many questions, but I never for one second would admit I was an alcoholic. I thought I could control it."
On how isolated his addiction made him:
"What had started as self-expression turned into a mask. I lived in a bubble. I would be backstage and there would be a queue of five people to help me. One person would have a cigarette for me. The next person would have the lighter. I did not know how to use the A.T.M."
On how designing Kate Moss's wedding dress helped him regain some balance:
"Creating Kate’s wedding dress saved me personally because it was my creative rehab. She dared me to be me again."
Kate remembers the day fondly as well, telling Ingrid:
"[The dress was] absolutely gorgeous, a diaphanous 1920s-type dress, romantic, with gold sequins in the shape of the phoenix—as if he was saying he would rise from this. When my dad gave his speech he thanked everyone and then he referred to the genius of Galliano, who made his daughter’s dress. Everyone stood up and gave John a standing ovation. It was the most moving thing, because suddenly John realized he wasn’t on his own."
On how the ordeal has actually strengthened him:
"It sounds a bit bizarre, but I am so grateful for what did happen. I have learned so much about myself. I have re-discovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had lost. I am alive."
Awww! That last part just made our heart swell up!
The full interview will only be available in the mag's print July issue and contains further insight from some of John's friends in the industry, including Oscar de la Renta, Linda Evangelista (who was the only visitor he had his first visitors' week in rehab), Anna Wintour, and Naomi Campbell.
It also explains how even Sidney Toledano, C.E.O. of Dior, and Bernard Arnault, chairman and C.E.O. of LVMH, could not convince the 52-year-old to get the help he so sorely needed.
We've said it before, but we really believe that John is truly contrite about his mistakes, and we wish him a healthy future in fashion and in life!
[Image via Annie Liebovitz/Vanity Fair]