The much-ballyhooed comeback of shamed fashion designer John Galliano hit a snag last week when the 52-year-old's mea culpa with Vanity Fair failed to elicit so much as a peep of support from the US fashion flock who appear unmoved by his back story to the anti-Semitic rant that resulted in his 2011 dismissal as the creative director at Dior.
In the overwhelmingly sympathetic interview published Thursday, Galliano blamed his outrageous behaviour on an addiction to booze and drugs which, he candidly admitted, would have landed him "in a mental asylum or six feet under" if he had not been forced to go into rehab.
But that, for many readers, is where the straight talking stopped. In what was billed as the first interview he's ever given sober, Galliano told Ingrid Sischy he has no memory of the night he was videotaped braying about his love for Hitler and glorifying the Holocaust. He also claimed that when he was shown the footage online by his assistant: "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 paralysed from the fear."
Galliano who insists he is not a racist, says he has no idea what inspired his ugly rhetoric. "It's the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn't mean it," he said. "I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realise I was so f****** angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could."
Reflecting on his two-year struggle to stay sober and atone for his actions, Galliano probably only scored points with self-help zealots when he declared: "I am so grateful for what did happen. I have learned so much about myself. I have rediscovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had lost. I am alive."
Sischy neatly sewed up her redemptive tale with the upbeat prediction that Galliano is "ready for his second act". Seventh Avenue doesn't seem to agree.
SJP to Carrie on with label
Sarah Jessica Parker is going back to her Carrie Bradshaw roots.
Fifteen years to the day that Sex & the City debuted on HBO, SJP turned to Vogue.com to announce the news that she is launching her own fashion label which will feature shoes, $200-$300, (€151-€227), bags for $700 (€529) and trench coats.
"It's sort of soup to nuts," says the pitch-perfect Parker. "You put on a shoe and you put on a coat and you wear a bag and, on the outside, when you're walking down the street, they really can tell the same story about yourself."
The trend- setting actress, who has served her time in the fashion trenches with a short-lived collection ("Bitten") for Steve & Barry followed by a two-year stint as the creative officer at Halston, also revealed that she has persuaded Manolo Blahnik CEO George Malkemus to join her new venture which is slated to start production in 2014.
The two, who are looking at nostalgia labels like Charles Jourdan and Maud Frizon as sources of inspiration are, naturally, going over every frame of SATC's six-season run as part of their research. As SJP, channelling her small-screen character, pointed out: "Because I got to play that role, I wore a lot of shoes, and by default I learned an enormous amount. It's hard to walk away from that."
Testing time for Tiger's girl
Alpine ski champ Lindsay Vonn should get a gold medal for keeping her cool under considerable pressure. The popular Olympian, who is currently dating Tiger Woods, barely batted an eyelash Monday night when, halfway through the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in the Lincoln Center in New York, she got a call to say reps for the US Anti-Doping Agency were en route to the event to administer a random drug test.
Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, who was Vonn's date for the night, stood guard outside a ladies' loo during the five-minute collection process which was carried out under the watchful eye of a female official.
Vonn's nonchalance at the incongruous interruption wasn't matched by some of the other guests at the high-fashion gathering who, according to a witness, performed "a celebratory bump" of relief once the drug-detecting officials were safely out the door.
Paris wises up to 'bling ring'
Paris Hilton experienced a serious learning curve after watching Sofia Coppola's new movie The Bling Ring. The same could be said for reporters who interviewed Hilton as she walked Tuesday night's red carpet for the LA premiere of the film about the infamous teenage bandits who burglarised her $4m home a total of six times.
"Sofia told me so many things I didn't know," a bashful Hilton admitted.
"I didn't know they tried to take my dog. I didn't know they were selling my things on Venice Boardwalk," she said, making sure to broadcast the news that she has since upgraded the security system on her house, stopped tweeting her whereabouts in real-time and yes, finally kicked her habit of leaving a front door key under the mat.