The God of Colors
DALLAS, Mar 10, 2011/ FW/ — With the close of Paris Prêt-a-porter yesterday, the international fashion season comes to an end. And while Fall 2011 had proven to be very strong with all the four cities – New York, London, Milan and Paris – unveiling impressive collections, it will also be remembered as the season when one of the fashion gods fell from grace.
Because that’s how most fashionistas view what happened to John Galliano whom they considered a god of colors and pageantry, every collection he showed was a testament to his fashion divinity. But that deification is gone, Galliano’s Mt. Olympus leveled because of a heinous remark in a moment of insobriety.
Yet, no matter how distressing the event was; even with a damning video that was uploaded on YouTube (it has now been removed) as evidence, we should all remember that there are always two sides to a story. The court of public opinion is different from the court of law.
Though most had reached their own verdict, we should not forget that John Galliano still has to be tried in front of a jury. He will have a chance to face his accusers and defend himself. And most importantly, Galliano will also have his day in court as the designer has already filed a countersuit.
But, I am actually digressing; my real subject is “truth is stranger than fiction” with John Galliano’s story as reality and the fantasy book “Elantris” as fiction.
For those who are not fantasy fans, Elantris is the story of the city of Elantris, capital of the kingdom of Arelon and home to ordinary humans that has been transformed into magic-using demigods.
In the book timeline, ten years ago, an earthquake occurred in Arelon; about the same time, without warning, the Elantrans lost their powers and they degenerated into tortured souls who could not die.
I was reading Elantris when the story about John Galliano broke. To me, they were two separate stories – one was headline news, the other a work of fiction by the author Brandon Sanderson. Yet, the more I read the book and the more the news on Galliano developed, a connection between the two, no matter how tenuous developed in my mind.
At first glance, the subject matter of Elantris is tragic – Elantrans fell from grace because they were flaunting their powers and were acting, even living like gods, their Arelon servants literally worshipping them.
As I continued to read, I realized that Elantris was a story of hope and redemption as the main characters worked to understand why Elantris fell, and wondered if their suffering was a form of penance.
I finished the book about the same time that the Paris season was closing. I know how Elantris ended and satisfied how things turned out. Yet, story of John Galliano, which inadvertently I started to think of as a parallel story in the real world, is far from over. If it is a book, we are barely finishing the first chapter.
Will his story turn out to be a Shakespearian tragedy or a story of redemption and deliverance? Without being glum and impudent, it is a RAFO (read and find out) for most of us.