Canadian model Jessica Stam walks in Dior show in support of John Galliano, a “friend in a dark place”

Canadian model Jessica Stam walks in Dior show in support of John Galliano, a “friend in a dark place”

Jessica Stam and John Galliano in 2007 (Image: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)  

Natalie Portman may have withdrawn her support for John Galliano after a video surfaced depicting the soon-to-be former Dior designer unleashing an anti-Semitic tirade on patrons at a Paris bar, but Canadian model Jessica Stam remained committed to the label, walking in Galliano’s final Dior show in Paris last Friday. In the drunken rant, Galliano, who joined the fashion house in 1996, drunkenly proclaims “I love Hitler,” an offence punishable as a crime under French law.

Portman, who is the face of Dior’s Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, released a statement Monday condemning Galliano’s remarks, according to a New York Times blog.

I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.

Stam, on the other hand, took to her Twitter account in defence of Galliano. She wrote late last week, “I believe every human being on this earth was created equal. I also don’t turn my back on my friends when they’re in a dark place.”

Before Dior’s runway show in Paris, company president Sidney Toledano gave a speech describing Galliano’s comments as “a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all.” Amidst rumours that Galliano—who has reportedly entered rehab for alcoholism—could not do much preparatory work for his autumn 2011 collection, Toledano said, “the heart of the house of Dior, which beats unseen, is made up of its teams and studios, its seamstresses and craftsmen.” The atelier specialists received a standing ovation at the end of the show.

• Video Raises Questions for Designer [New York Times]
• Tears and Applause at Dior [New York Times]