Monday, 28 February 2011

Oscar, Hitler and the King

My Dearest Darlings, it is the day after the Oscars and alas there were no real surprises amongst the winners. Colin Firth won best actor in ‘The King’s Speech’ a conventionally themed British regal biopic that continues to perpetuate the rather dated notion that the British Isles is mainly populated with royalist nostalgia obsessed conservatives. This of course does well in the U.S of A as it confirms their contrasting idealised position that Americans are forward thinking futurists, destined to lead humanity to Utopia and the British are tweed wearing lords from history desperately clinging to its past glories.
Natalie Portman won for her splendidly comedic performance in the hilariously deluded, superficially deep comment on the artistic practice; ‘Black Swan’. This film that contained some of the most clich├ęd scenes in cinematic history has amazed, beguiled and impressed most, but I remain perplexed as to why. It’s dalliances with surrealism were laughable at best, though I expect to some ‘WHORE’ being daubed on a mirror with red lipstick would be a shocking and horrific incident, to your wondrous servant nothing would be more amusingly trite and ineffective as a sign of psychological breakdown.
Most of the coverage of The Oscars as usual centres around the rather bland gowns (aside from the elegant Cate Blanchett’s bravely controversial one) and inoffensive acceptance speeches, the most shocking news was that the winning best supporting actress said ‘Fuck’ on the Academy stage; this to you is no more shocking than waking up with  a hangover and grazed knees after a night out at your local hostelry.

However controversy has surrounded the gown choice of the demurely pregnant Natalie Portman who chose to jettison her previously selected Galliano gown due to Mr Galliano’s behaviour in Paris at the weekend. His anti-semitic rant aimed at fellow diners at a Parisian cafe appears to be the result of the over-consumption of alcohol and unfortunately for him, despite his claims of innocence where documented via mobile phone and subsequently published on-line, though he appears to be so inebriated that a full film crew with lights and sound could have filmed his tirade and he would have been none the wiser. Galliano proclaimed his love for Hitler and went on to clumsily suggest that these non-Jewish diner's parents should have been gassed during the Second World War.
What this sorry display unfortunately reveals is what lies at the heart of this eccentric is a hatred that belies his motivations. Has Galliano accidentally revealed that an industry created for the pursuit and creation of external beauty damages and erodes the true understanding of the internal strife of humanity? To see a creative man so involved with beautifying the world ejaculate such poisonous bile on to the cobbled streets of the fashion capital of the world demeans himself and the industry he represents. Alas his willingness to describe his dining neighbours as ‘ugly’ not only perpetuates the unfortunate and often misleading link with misogyny that mistakenly can be associated with so many gay men, it also reveals that he is perhaps unsurprisingly obsessed with external beauty; his own botox use and make-up aside.
My Dearest Darlings, beauty to me is the pursuit of knowledge, the  understanding of compassion all with the perpetual use of good manners. Make-up and gowns and all the accoutrements of fashion merely decorate the beauty you are. Without this inner scaffold you are simply porcelain copies of a person, delicate, fragile and  ultimately breakable. Unfortunately it seems that John Galliano has focused on the external for far  too long and has forgotten what it takes to be a true gentleman. Perhaps he will take this opportunity to reflect on his motivations and behaviour and enable himself to become a reflection of the beautiful things he creates rather than a dark and disturbing contrast to it.
Love as Always Ms Coco LaVerne x