To me Oscar de la Renta represents elegant conservatism while John Galliano represents an edgy opulence. Oscar de la Renta, the the designer of choice of Republican First Ladies and a harsh critic of Michelle Obama, is know for creating beautiful elegant clothes. His designs are also conservative and traditional. He is one of the old guard and some might think the parade is passing by without him. John Galliano, one of fashion’s “bad boys”, was the center of the saddest and most bizarre 2011 incident in the fashion world. A drunken Galliano was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris café. Although, many in the fashion world thought he was setup, he was fired from Dior even before his case went to court and became a fashion outcast. A French court convicted him of anti-Semitic insults. He was given a suspended fine and ordered to pay legal fees to the complainants.
It may seem like an odd pairing but at closer inspection they have a lot in common. They are both master of tailoring and opulence is only elegance pushing the envelope. If the pairing is not as strange as it first seemed, the business arrangement is. It left WWD wondering what exactly is a “designer in residence”. Galliano’s position at de la Renta may be vague but his influence is not. A WWD article described Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2013 collection as “a departure from the girly froth and fun that de la Renta has pursued the past seasons. A tale of two designers, it had mystery, suspense, harmony, beauty, optimism – and some truly great clothes.”
Galliano will always be controversial, but it is hoped that he has matured as a person and has shed the ‘bad boy’ image. He is too talented a designer to lose.