John Galliano Outfit Shocks Jewish Community

It's hard to forget British fashion designer John Galliano's anti-Semitic rants in 2011; one for which he was arrested and the other that was caught on amateur video (warning: Its content is graphic) that cost him his job as chief designer at Christian Dior in February 2011.

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Other than his attendance at Kate Moss' 2011 wedding and a stint in rehab for alcoholism, we haven't seen or heard much of him since the scandal. But on Tuesday night, Galliano was photographed leaving a building in New York dressed as a Hasidic Jewish man—long jacket, hat, and curly side locks—on his way to Oscar de la Renta's Fashion Week show for which he collaborated on. And according to the New York Post, Jewish community leaders were offended.

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“He’s trying to embarrass people in the Jewish community and make money on clothes [while] dressed like people he has insulted,” said Williamsburg community leader Isaac Abraham. "It looks like the hairstyle he added was done purposely to insult.”

“Who is he mocking?” added Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “The way the socks look, the jacket, the peyos . . . My question is, who’s he laughing at? If it was just anyone else, I wouldn’t know what to say. But considering who this guy is, considering his background and what he’s said in the past, let him explain it to all of us: Are you mocking us?”

Galliano's publicist Liz Rosenberg spoke to the Post saying, “Your accusations are not at all correct.”

So why would Galliano choose to dress in an outfit that so closely resembles the group of people he offended? "It's hard to say without evaluating him but there could be a number of reasons," says Lindsay Heller, Psy.D., a Beverly Hills based licensed clinical psychologist. "Issues dealing with race and religion can be very touchy and many people don't know how to express their feelings on those matters, especially if they aren't sure what their stance is in the first place. It's possible that Galliano chose that outfit as a way to mock people. But he could also be experiencing identity issues or feeling remorseful and trying too hard to prove that he's sorry. It could also be an artistic expression or a media stunt to get you to spark this very conversation."

Whatever his motivation, Galliano certainly provoked the community he had once offended. And Rosenberg could have clarified the matter by explaining the designer's intentions, rather than just deny the allegations. Either way, for better or worse Galliano has our attention.

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