Nina Cristante is an artist, autodidactic nutritionist, Aquarius and my best friend. Had it not been for a mutual friend linking us during her temporary stay in NYC seven months back, I may’ve never been introduced to the full spectrum of her work. Just a subtle trail of digital breadcrumbs. Slow-mo-promo. A whisper, a wink, a bikini body meme. A deliberately ambiguous website hosting austere at-home workout videos and fragments of clients’ food diaries.
This weekend, an email was sent out to BFA senior students in the fashion department at Parsons The New School for Design, announcing a new course:
Dear BFA Senior Students and Faculty
The first in a series of Master classes, SHOW ME EMOTION is four day experience offered to Seniorstudents of the BFA program designed to bring global design heroes to the Parsons community for an immersive studio experience of a lifetime. Participants will be selected based upon pre-submissions reviewed by academic leadership, placing up to 20 participants in studio for three days followed by critique and a conversation/ Q&A with Galliano, Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion and the students on the fourth day.
SHOW ME EMOTION! seeks to engage its participants by provoking the power of emotion in context of fashion practice and exploration of intuitive, perceptive manners of investigational making. Emphasis is placed upon process disruption, improvisational methods, and trans-disciplinary based outcomes articulatingacute awareness of personal identity. Using intuition and emotion as essential ingredients towards authentic design, students will be encouraged to engage with Galliano in all aspects of the creative process including the intense pressure of sustainable a role at the very top of thedesign world. A master of tailoring, construction, research, and thematic investigation, John Galliano is an unparalleled living legend capable of blending and blurring the traditional boundaries of practice. A technical genius, after more than twenty-five years of practice, what inspires him most today is not a destination of a geographical sense but the divergent journeys of the soul,mind, and reflection. Feeling, thinking, perceiving, and responding shape his current creative identity and he allows emotion to determine the depth of acollar, the volume between body and sleeve.*
We’re all familiar with the story by now, but it bears repeating: In February 2011, John Galliano was arrested on assault charges after making anti-Semitic remarks at a Paris cafe. Soon after, The Sun published a video of a similar encounter from the previous year:
In it, he says, “I love Hitler. People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be fucking gassed.” Soon after, Dior dismissed him, Natalie Portman condemned him, and France found him guilty of anti-semitic hate speech. Patricia Field quickly sent out a mass e-mail defending him.
Since then, he’s been to rehab, did an unpaid internship at Oscar de la Renta, and got absolution from the Anti-Defamation League. Recently, local page view queen New York Post did a cover story claiming that one of his outfits, pictured above, mocked Hasidic jews. (Meanwhile, the New York Post finds it appropriate to use the copy “Who Jew Kidding!” in an article making an allegation of anti-semitism.)
As a student at Parsons, I’m routinely impressed with The New School’s efforts to create an inclusive environment, and this announcement caught me completely off-guard. I’ve reached out to the dean of the School of Fashion, Simon Collins, and to The New School’s administration for further comment.
*Unedited text from e-mail