Is Galliano being groomed for Oscar de la Renta's job?

There are rumours the disgraced British designer is being prepared for a return to fashion’s top table

THE FUTURE of disgraced British fashion designer John Galliano is the subject of heated debate again, with some tipping him as the successor to New York-based couturier Oscar de la Renta.

Galliano, 52, who was sacked by Christian Dior in March, 2011 after he was filmed making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris café, has spent the past three weeks working in De la Renta’s New York studio.

It is understood that he has helped De la Renta create the collection that will be unveiled tonight on the New York Fashion Week catwalk.

The Daily Beast says a "flurry of rumours" has surrounded Galliano’s time at De La Renta’s studio, a residency arranged by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Some commentators want to know how much of "Galliano’s fantastical influence" will be seen in De La Renta’s new collection. Others are speculating that Galliano will share "the final bow" with De La Renta on the catwalk tonight and, even more contentiously, that the 80-year-old designer is grooming Galliano as his successor.

Vogue says Galliano has not been idle since Dior showed him the door. He designed Kate Moss’s wedding dress last year and was "mooted as the new creative director of [Italian fashion house] Schiaparelli", a rumour that was quickly denied.

He has also started wrongful dismissal proceedings against his former employer, claiming that he was dumped "without real and serious cause". Rumours that he was seeking damages of €15m euros were incorrect, his lawyer said.

The Guardian's Hadley Freeman argues that Galliano – who has also undertaken treatment for alcoholism – should be given a second chance. "To freeze him out of his industry for ever when he has expressed so much contrition would be unjust," she writes. "It's time to, if not welcome him back, at least accept him back."

Another hot Galliano rumour has him taking a teaching position at a "top fashion school", according to the New York Post. Sources told the paper that "he hopes to take a mentoring role where he’d work one on one with students and perhaps guest-lecture on occasion".

The Post understands that Galliano would be "welcome" at New York’s Parsons The New School for Design, but there has also been speculation he might work with his alma mater, Central St Martins in London.