The School of Fashion at Parsons in New York has cancelled its up-coming three-day workshop with designer John Galliano, after an agreement couldn’t be made regarding the “frank discussion” section of the Masterclass. The design school sent out an e-mail to its student, which was also posted on the college’s website, explaining that: “It was a condition of our agreeing to host Mr. Galliano that we also hold a larger forum, which would include a frank discussion of his career. Ultimately, an agreement could not be reached with Mr. Galliano regarding the details of that forum, and so the program will not move forward.”
In the initial communication announcing the class in April, the collage stated that it felt its students could “learn from Galliano’s talents and achievements as a designer and from his personal failures” and that it hoped its students would “take away not only a rich perspective on design, but also an understanding of how to safeguard their personal integrity”.
Parsons withdraw Galliano masterclass
However, yesterday’s e-mail said that while it “expected to invite students, faculty and staff to ask Mr. Galliano how his trajectory as a designer was changed by his offensive remarks” it seems that the designer was uncomfortable with the idea and an agreement couldn’t be reached and “so the program will not move forward”.
The e-mail also hinted at the opposition to the proposed workshop, which included an online petition that has attracted more than 2,000 signatures, saying: "Over the last several weeks, many members of the university community wrote to express their views about this visit. Regardless of your opinion, you remind us all that it is our commitment to debate, and our willingness to support the possibility of change, that makes Parsons and The New School such an extraordinary place to learn."
Image: John Galliano at the Dior Haute Couture autumn/winter 2010 show