You can’t keep a good man down! John Galliano, who got both good and bad press for his debut collection at Givenchy, is in an upbeat mood. “I wanted to get to know the atelier and let them get to know me, and I succeeded at that,” he said Wednesday. “Taking over a house like Givenchy doesn’t happen in a day. It’s a long process and I’m really happy how it’s working out.”
Sitting at The Ritz with sidekicks Amanda Harlech and Andre Leon Talley, Galliano looked more rested and relaxed than he has in years. But he now has a scary six weeks ahead of him. He will be presenting his own collection in March just two days before his first Givenchy ready-to-wear show. “But I’m not doing this all alone,” he said. “I think I can do it.”
Meanwhile, Galliano has already found the new face of Givenchy. She’s 16-year-old Ramsey Jones of Tampa, Fla. (or “Tampe” as Harlech called it). Galliano said he fell in love with her when he saw a Polaroid taken by her father in Jones’s backyard. “I wanted to use her last season, but she was only 15, and you know how tough French child labor laws are,” the designer said.
Galliano himself is also dabbling in modeling. He is scheduled to star in the next Karl Lagerfeld photo extravaganza, which starts today. It’s a race-reversal of “Gone With the Wind,” with Naomi Campbell playing Scarlett O’Hara and Galliano in the role of Prissy, the maid.