Move over, Tim Gunn. After much speculation, Lucky reported today that John Galliano will in fact take up a teaching position at Parsons The New School For Design. The controversial designer is obviously making the most of his reputation, as the masterclass series is called “SHOW ME EMOTION!” and, according to the school, “seeks to engage its participants by provoking the power of emotion in context of fashion practice and exploration of intuitive, perceptive manners of investigational making.” Um, okay.
Lest you run for the Parsons registrar immediately just for a chance to swing by Mr. G’s office hours, be warned: the format of the class is just a three-day workshop with Galliano himself, leading to a final critique of students’ work. While we don’t doubt that he’s got the chops when it comes to letting emotions rule your decision- (and clothes-) making, there are some pretty obvious reasons why we would not jump at the chance to have Professor Galliano on our schedules next semester.
1. That whole anti-semitic rant thing.
In February 2011, Galliano was caught on video berating fellow patrons at a French cafe, saying “I love Hitler” and “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f*cking gassed.” He was quickly fired from Dior for those actions, but he’s recently gotten back in the fashion game with a residency at Oscar de la Renta. That said, we can’t be sure he’ll be on his best behavior and would certainly not expect angsty art students to be able to spar with rage on that level. Not to mention, it’s completely disgusting and unacceptable all around.
2. His penchant for drama has landed some on our worst-dressed lists.
What can you stand to learn from a fashion school professor who thought those mesh panels were a good idea?
3. Bad decision-making means he’s an unfit role model for the young minds at Parsons.
Even after being fired for anti-semitic ranting, he took to the streets of New York City in an outfit that was immediately taken as a stab at the city’s Hasidic population. So what if he’s often spotted in dark colors, a certain kind of hat, and with his hair in curls? Once you’ve been the center of a media maelstrom like his, you need a little more than common sense when it comes to your public image. I.e. don’t wear outfits that appear to mock a religious sect that you’ve outwardly mocked. Publicly. College students have enough trouble with snap decision-making as it is. Can’t they all just be protected under the paternal wing of Tim Gunn for all time?
4. Imagine the scheduling conflicts!
What with a newfound position at Oscar de la Renta, and timing at the whim of protests in Paris, there’s no telling how busy his schedule will be. We can’t imagine the man’s got much time for imparting advice on seam placement or — what did they call it? — “investigational making”.
5. General creepiness.
See: above (or any) photo.
6. This whole class sounds like a publicity stunt.
Call us crazy, but hiring a publicly shamed designer to teach a course on harnessing emotion in fashion, seems like, well, harnessing a PR nightmare for the school’s own attention seeking. Unless, it turns out, that the entire class is a cautionary tale of what NOT to do in the industry. Then, it might be a great elective for next fall.
See more of the Galliano saga in the videos below.