This very moment, former Christian Dior creative director John Galliano is likely holed up in Oscar de la Renta’s studio, where he’s spent the past three weeks helping the brand prepare for tomorrow night’s runway show. Since WWD announced news of his internship in mid-January, a flurry of rumors has surrounded the apprenticeship, many of them speculating how much of Galliano’s fantastical influence will present itself in de la Renta’s collection. Many anticipate that de la Renta will share his final bow with the disgraced designer. And with de la Renta celebrating 50 years of design this year following an extended battle with cancer, some think that he’s using the opportunity to poise Galliano as his successor, ready at an arm’s length for when retirement comes a-calling.
In a lengthy interview in this week’s New York magazine, de la Renta addresses the rumors. “When Anna [Wintour] asked me if I would have John in my studio, I said yes. I also believe that everyone should have a second chance, especially someone as talented as John. And he has worked so hard on his recovery.” The apprenticeship is part of a full-stage comeback for Galliano who last week was granted the right to have his case heard against his former employer, Christian Dior Couture—the LVMH label from which he was fired after footage of his infamous anti-Semitic rant emerged on YouTube.
But now that Galliano’s three-week studio tenure is nearly over (culminating after tomorrow night’s runway show), the news is rife with speculation over his next move. According to de la Renta, there’s been no real talk of permanent placement at his atelier just yet. “I would love for him to stay. Will he? I cannot tell you that today. Because we haven’t gone that far in really discussing it ... so the answer is we don’t know. We’re still exploring.”
However, the New York Post reports that Galliano is exploring the option of teaching at a high-profile fashion design university. “Sources tell us he hopes to take a mentoring role where he’d work one on one with students and perhaps guest-lecture on occasion,” the paper writes. They speculate that he’s either looking to London (home of his alma matter Central Saint Martins), or Parsons the New School for Design in New York. A representative for Parsons declined comment to The Daily Beast. “As far as I know, it's hearsay,” that person said of the report.