Dior bids adieu to disgraced Galliano
Under dim lights, with a sombre atmosphere befitting a funeral, Dior fielded its last collection by disgraced designer John Galliano, who was sacked after 14 years with the luxury house over allegations he made anti-Semitic remarks.
Galliano and his usual entourage of A-list celebrities avoided yesterday's show, even though Dior is always among the most highly anticipated shows on the Paris fashion calendar.
Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano took to the catwalk ahead of the fall-winter 2011-12 ready-to-wear show, apologising for Galliano's "unacceptable and hurtful" remarks.
"What happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us," he said, referring, in part, to an online video that shows an inebriated Galliano praising Adolf Hitler.
He said Galliano's comments went against the very grain of the house, founded in the aftermath of World War Two to "make (women) happy, to make them dream".
Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova expressed sympathy for Galliano, saying he was "under influence of a disease".
" I've met people under the influence of alcohol doing monstrous things before," she said.