If you thought Oscar de la Renta had organized those highly publicized studio hang-out sessions with disgracedDiordesigner John Galliano out of the goodness of his heart, that's precisely the case if "goodness of his heart" is a euphemism for "favor to Anna Wintour."
"I think John is one of the most talented men I’ve ever met. I like him very much. The years I was doing Balmain in Paris, I went many times with Anna [Wintour] to his shows. It is so strange to me what people who don’t know Anna think of her. She is so wrongly guessed. She is the most wonderful person, so smart, and so funny, and an unbelievably loyal friend. So when Anna 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. … I think the only similarities between me and John is that we both love what we do."
Now granted: not only is this most likely a very rigorously edited interview, it's also an unconventional interviewee/er relationship (the conversation opens with ODLR remembering that time he nearly strangled Norwich), so it is possible that I'm misreading the subtext in the statement above. But it looks odd to me. All but the last sentence (which answers a direct follow-up) is a response to Norwich's broad curiosity about Oscar de la Renta's new arrangement: "So, what’s it like having John Galliano here?"
ODLR's compliments about Anna Wintour are off-topic, seem exaggerated and are just plain weird when you consider that the person he's talking to, Norwich, is an established fashion journalist who himself works for Vogue magazine. Like, he's familiar with Anna Wintour, thanks! As much as I'd love ODLR's incomprehensibe effusions to be related to some kind of repressed aggression towards Wintour, it's more more likely that the designer was determined to reveal her hand in the John Galliano comeback crusade because he wants to downplay his own involvement.
So the question: Why does Oscar de la Renta want us to know that he didn't invite Galliano to his studio apropos of nothing? I think there are two possibilities. 1) I've previously written about how I don't support a Galliano comeback. It's possible that ODLR was pursuaded by my awesomely persuasive persuasion. 2) However, s
ome many commenters weren't persuaded. One even accused me of having being paid off by Dior chairman Bernard Arnault. I assure you, Mr. Arnault has not been in touch with me (I wish), but perhaps he's been talking $$$$ to de la Renta instead? If ODLR was willing to put his neck on the line just so that like, one of his dresses will end up on a Vogue cover in the near future, I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to distance himself from the whole comeback narrative in exchange for some of Arnault's vast quantities of cash money.
Ta-da! Mysteries meet me and run for their lives.
Image via Getty