Yesterday everyone was in a tizzy about the fashion designer John Galliano, who may or may not have worn a Hasid-mocking outfit to a recent Fashion Week event. Galliano has said some not so great things about Jewish people in the past, so people were quick to condemn. And by "people" we mean the New York Post. Though other outlets have since said that Galliano's outfit was nothing new, the Post is still pursuing the story. Yesterday they interviewed some true fashion luminaries about the ginned-up scandal, and what those fine people had to say is a treasury of silliness.
"I thought it was really disrespectful. You don’t mess with people’s religion."
— former Real Housewives of New York day player Kelly Bensimon, who ought to know from disrespectful
"You would think that [when] one of the world’s most famous fashion designers invites you into a city that was built by Jews, that you would be sensitive to that. I don’t understand why he couldn’t create a new hairstyle that said, ‘More Jews in Israel.'"
— Kelly Cutrone, that lady who organizes fashion shows and who had a Bravo reality show for a hot second. We're not really sure what she's even trying to say. How would a hairstyle say that? Could a hairstyle say that? Should it say that? All mysteries.
"When you work in fashion, it’s like a language, right? So in many ways, it’s like embracing the idea, it’s nodding to them and respecting them."
— Robert Verdi. Aha, OK. Whatever you say, Verdi.
“It’s not meant to mock Hasidic Jews and the religion. I think it’s meant to sort of respectfully say, ‘Truce. See, look. Some of my best friends are Jewish.’ That type of thing.”
— Robert Verdi again! Bringin' the hits. How on earth would the outfit ever say "some of my best friends are Jewish"? In a related story, some of my best friends are Robert Verdi.
"The last thing I would think of when I see that photo is ‘Hasidic.'"
— Patricia Field, costume doyenne of Sex and the City, bringing some reason.
"Look at the curls in the back . . . he’s got the same curls in the back as he does the front."
— Patricia Field still, speaking truth to power.
"A Hasidic hat has got a wide brim, it’s got a smaller crown."
— Go on, Patricia Field...
"The coat he’s wearing is just a contemporary coat with skinny lapels, and it’s navy."
— And there you have it. Case closed. You have a fashion mystery that needs solving? You call Patricia Field. She will tell you what's what.
So it would seem that perhaps Galliano's look was just an unfortunate coincidence. Or maybe it wasn't! Who knows. There's really no way to tell. The real lesson here is that if you want a good, solid quote about whether something is or is not anti-Semitic you go straight to fashion people. They'll nail it every time.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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