Disgraced ex-Dior designer eyes comeback

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The fashion world is buzzing with the news that disgraced designer John Galliano has been invited to spend time with Oscar de la Renta at his design studio in New York for the next three weeks, Newsday contributor Anne Bratskeir reports.

Two years ago, Galliano's anti-Semitic rants in a Paris cafe, which included, "I love Hitler," went viral, costing him his job as creative director at Christian Dior. In a statement released by de la Renta, Galliano said, "I am an alcoholic. Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease. I said and did things, which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community. I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I caused, and I continue to do so."

De la Renta, an elder statesman in the fashion world, is forgiving. "Everyone in life deserves a second chance, especially someone as talented as John. I think that life is about forgiving and helping people . . . I think John is doing all the right things," he told Women's Wear Daily.

"John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent," de la Renta said in his statement. "He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion."

Galliano's role at de la Renta is undefined. Considered one of fashion's most creative and talented names, Galliano said he is "grateful to Oscar beyond words for inviting me to spend time with him in the familiar surroundings of a design studio."

As for speculation that de la Renta is grooming him to take over his fabled fashion house? "Certainly not," de la Renta told WWD. "I hope to be around for a long time."

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