“How could you say the things that you said, John,” television journalist Charlie Rose asked the fallen designer during his first on-camera interview, finally asking what many in the fashion industry wanted to know. John Galliano was fired from Dior two-years ago and has journeyed on the long road to recovery. His very first interview with Vanity Fair’s Ingrid Sischy is on newsstands now, but this is the designer like you’ve never seen him before.
“No one was more shocked than myself, Charlie,” Galliano said. “You showed that footage and it just threw me. At that point in my career, I was what is known as a black-out drinker. It’s where one can’t transfer short-term memory into long-term memory, so I have no memory of that event.”
He is now two years and three months sober but thinks that producing 32 collections a year is what pushed him over. “I was a slave to alcohol and then I’d take the valiums to do the fittings and stop the shaking and then sleeping pills so that I could sleep. My life became unmanageable.”
But he takes complete responsibility for his actions. “I was acting like God but I’m not. Now I know I’m not in the driving seat. I know that I have to do this work,” Galliano said. “The atonement, I’m trying to make amends; I’ve upset many people. Even today, I’m realizing just how many.”
“Sobriety is not easy, Charlie. It’s been a difficult journey,” he continued, telling Rose that he could fall off of at any time. But with the help of friends like Anna Wintour who, after just one lunch makes the designer feel inspired again, and John Newhouse, whom Galliano wrote daily emails and totes as one of his ‘Wiseman,’ this might be just a chapter of what Rose calls… just the story of what happened to John Galliano.
You can watch the full interview online here.