STYLE

John Galliano's back in the fashion business, joining Maison Martin Margiela

10/06/2014 09:24 EDT | Updated 12/06/2014 05:59 EST
PARIS - Once one of the biggest names in fashion design, John Galliano has been given a second chance three years after leaving Christian Dior in disgrace.

He will take the creative helm of avant-garde Paris house Maison Martin Margiela, it was announced Monday.

The British designer almost completely disappeared from the spotlight after being caught on video slurring "I love Hitler" in 2011.

The flamboyant designer was later convicted by a French court on complaints of anti-Semitic behaviour. During his trial, his defence team acknowledged his addictions to alcohol, sleeping pills and Valium. Galliano avoided prison, but the 53-year-old had to pay a fine of €13,500 ($19,000) in civil damages.

An internship in 2013 at Oscar de la Renta signalled Galliano was beginning his return to the industry, and Monday's announcement confirmed that he'll be back shaking things up in Paris, where he first made his name.

"John Galliano is one of the greatest, undisputed talents of all time," said Renzo Rosso, the president of the Martin Margiela house owner, OTB. "I look forward to his return to create that fashion dream that only he can create."

Maison Martin Margiela, which produces ready-to-wear as well as couture, was founded in 1988 by the eponymous Belgian designer, known for his conceptual deconstruction designs and widely associated with the influential group of fashion designers known as the Antwerp Six.

Martin Margiela left the house he founded in 2009, a departure that was shrouded in mystery and was a big creative blow to the house.

Since then, an H&M collaboration in 2012 and a string of more conventional presentations led some critics to say that the house had sold out.

Time will tell if Galliano, whose designs once bowled over the fashion world for their feminine theatricality, will be able to reconcile this with Margiela's more conceptual esthetic and give back the house its edge.

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Follow Thomas Adamson on Twitter at twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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