John Galliano's trial on hate crime charges is taking place in Paris at this very moment, and the ex-Dior designer is testifying in his own defense. When asked about the infamous video in which he declared his love for Hitler, Galliano said the clip showed someone who was a "shell of John Galliano", "someone that needs help, who's vulnerable." He continued, "I have all my life fought against prejudice, having been subjected to it myself." Galliano was to face charges in connection with two separate incidents, one that took place in October of 2010 and one in February of 2011, in which he is alleged to have hurled racist and anti-Semitic invective at three different victims — but only two of the plaintiffs, Géraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti, showed up in court this morning. The trial is taking place before a panel of three judges, not a jury, because the charges are considered "minor." The judges likely won't rule until the fall. The media is nonetheless out in full force, and at least three reporters are live-Tweeting the proceedings. Bloch, the art curator who alleges Galliano called her a "dirty Jewish whore" (which in France is legally actionable) with "ridiculous eyebrows" and "low-end boots" (which are not), is seeking symbolic damages of €1; Virgitti, who says Galliano called him a "fucking Asian bastard" wants €220,000 in damages. On the witness stand, a soberly dressed Galliano claimed he had almost no memory of the February evening due to his alcohol and drug use — but that he did remember Virgitti acting very aggressively towards him. Galliano said that he began drinking heavily after the deaths of his father and his close friend and working partner, Steven Robinson. And because of the pressures of his job as the head designer at Christian Dior; after each creative high would come a crash, and a renewed despair of ever succeeding on that level again. A fashion student who happened to be at the bar was called as a witness; she testified that she did not hear Galliano use any anti-Semitic insults, but that she did hear him insult Virgitti's race. Virgitti, for his part, testified that at first he had mistaken the designer for a homeless person. When the presiding judge read Galliano's alleged remarks into the record, the audience laughed nervously at her strong French accent. "'Bitch' means 'salope,'" said the judge. [WWD, @shona_F24, @GQfashion, @ashojlo]
Before the trial, Galliano's new lawyer, Aurélien Hamelle, said his client had a drug problem. "One obvious thing is that John Galliano was ill. He had a triple addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepine (Valium) and sleeping pills ... The combined effect of these drugs is a state of complete and utter abandon." Hamelle said Galliano popped Valium "like candy." [Reuters]

Miley Cyrus' line with Max Azria for Wal-Mart seems to be dunzo. BCBG Max Azria has secured $230 million in emergency refinancing, which will allow the company to remain in operation — and, just maybe, to pay some of those outstanding vendor invoices that have been piling up since February. (The company's public relations firm also quit.) But Azria had to close what it described as "a major mass-market business," and since both Tex by Max Azria and Max Rave have already been wound down, the only one of those that remains is the Miley Cyrus collab. [WWD]

Liya Kebede has been named a face of L'Oréal. [Us]

Practically nobody — including C.E.O. Dov Charney — came to American Apparel's annual shareholder meeting. Only around 20 shareholders turned up, and Charney, who was away on business in Japan, voted his 54% stake by proxy. American Apparel's stock price is hovering in the 90-cent range, which is bad news bears because stocks that trade below $1 for an extended period of time can be delisted by the exchange. [WWD]

Lily Donaldson — and some bunny rabbits — are the latest faces of Aldo. [Vogue UK]

Bottega Veneta hired Robert Polidori, who is known for his large-format architectural and aerial photographs, to shoot its fall campaign. The brand has recently hired artists Robert Longo, Sam Taylor-Wood, and Alex Prager to do its advertising. "What is unusual about Robert's work is that it both documents and interrogates," says Bottega Veneta's creative director, Tomas Maier. "His attention to detail creates layers of meaning that extend beyond the formal beauty of his images." [WWD]

  • Duchess Kate Middleton of Cambridge and Shiny-Hair-Upon-Tyne "has a policy not to accept any free offers of clothing," says a spokesperson. "We would never discuss the prices paid for individual items — these will remain private between the Duchess and the designers. She will not receive any special clothing budget for the Canada and California tour." [People]
  • The press is calling Kate Moss and Jamie Hince's wedding "Mosstock." Beth Ditto, the Rolling Stones, and Snoop Dogg are allegedly performing. Lady Gaga couldn't make it; she has to launder her merkin that weekend. [Fashionologie]
  • Moss and Hince are said to be trying for a baby. [P6]
  • Elle MacPherson on what makes a good model: "Personality is important. As well as being beautiful a model needs to be ballsy." [Express]
  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Anna Jagodzinska were photographed meeting on the street in New York at 2 a.m. Although Leo told the paparazzi that they are just friends, of course they are now rumored to be dating. [Fashionologie]
  • Brooke Shields tried to get a rush ticket to a Broadway show, but it was sold out. Thank God the Post exists to document this earth-shattering event. [P6]
  • Richard Chai: "I was 13 years old and taking a dull graphic design continuing education class at Parsons. One day, the elevator door opened up on the wrong floor, which happened to be a fashion illustration class. There was a model posing and really loud house music blasting in the background. The energy from the room was overwhelming and it was at that moment that I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer." [TFI]
  • Mad Men and Banana Republic are launching a 65-piece men's and women's collection this August. Previously, Banana Republic sold a collection of Mad Men-inspired men's suits, as had Brooks Brothers, but this is both the biggest Mad Men-related clothing venture and the first to include women's wear. [NYTimes]
  • H&M's net quarterly profit fell by 18% on the same period last year. Lowered consumer demand meant that the retailer had to put stock on sale, while at the same time commodity prices (especially cotton) remained high. [WWD]
  • Former Vogueaccessories editor Filipa Fino denies she was fired from Condé Nast for stealing samples, as had been rumored: "I've never kept anything that wasn't gifted to me," she says. Fino also denied having consulted for luxury brands she covered in the pages of the magazine — although she did found a consultancy company the day after she lost her job. [P6]
  • The licensing operation that is Christian Lacroix is getting into women's lingerie and swimwear. [WWD]
  • It's not all stilettos and sunshine at Manolo Blahnik HQ. It's also, um, sadness: Blahnik's niece Kristina says her job at the company contributed to her divorce. "Sadly," she says, taking the reins from her retiring mother "coincided with difficulties in my marriage and now we are divorcing. The pressures of work certainly played a part." She described her new position as "very exciting. Of course, I am sorry about my marriage but we have remained friends." [Vogue UK]