Stefano Pilati Says John Galliano ‘Put An End’ To Accepted Drug Use


In a wide-ranging interview with Vice magazine, Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati weighs in on drug use, John Galliano‘s demise, and the sartorial pitfalls of “fat bottomed” women. In other words: he sounds like a less robotic version of Karl Lagerfeld.

Besides complaining about “fat bottoms” no less than three times throughout the interview (he thinks women who suffer from them should avoid both low-hung and tapered-leg pants at all costs), Pilati offers a surprisingly thoughtful and pragmatic take on Galliano’s drug use, namely that, once upon a time, it was accepted.

When I used to really use, at Prada, a guy found out, and he told me, “Well, David Bowie made his best records when he was using.” That was maybe the last time I felt that there was a slight acceptance of what I was doing. Today that kind of stuff is just impossible. Without getting right into the dirt of it, John [Galliano] really kind of put an end to that sort of option.

And when it comes to the specifics of Galliano’s termination, he basically sides with Lagerfeld, who at the time told Women’s Wear Daily:

“I see designing, running a company, like a high-level athletic activity. I don’t want to hear anything about the fragility or any of those things. If an athlete is too fragile to run, he cannot run. And this is exactly the same. You don’t accept this kind of business if you’re too much of an artist.”

Here’s what Pilati had to say:

I think it was a tragic situation, both for him and for the maison. The truth is, going back to what we said before, about excess: Let’s not forget that we aren’t pure creators with rich boyfriends who fund our work and take our hands to lead us along while we do whatever we want. We work for corporations, with hundreds of people who go home at 2 AM on the subway, not with drivers. There are whole factories full of people who create our stuff, and in a way there is a public media system that puts us at the center of it all, a system for which we are the face of an entire corporation. You have to come to terms with your responsibility and choices. If you’re a guy who has his own little things going, you can do that, but then you can’t expect to stand next to Charlize Theron in front of millions of people. If you stand on that stage next to Charlize Theron, you have to be able to stand up and talk coherently. Shit, if you can’t even talk normally, and you arrive two hours late fucked out of your mind just to leave after ten minutes after two glasses of wine, well, it might be best if you just stayed home.

We have to understand that people are there for us. Our creations have a power, and we have a power, which we transmit to others. People want to give you that power, and in the moment that they give it to you they expect to see a person standing in front of them who can at least appreciate it. In a way, it makes me think about how you make your own bed. You can do what you want, at home. But when you go out, keep it together. Look, it was a tragic situation, and I’m not justifying anybody’s actions. If I must choose sides, I might justify him, but I do so with sadness. It’s just sad. I don’t feel bad for him, though.

Does anyone, really?

[Vice, h/t @JohnJannuzzi.]

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