John Galliano’s work is proof that he is anything but a racist, his fellow couturier Jean Paul Gaultier said Saturday in defence of the disgraced former chief designer at Christian Dior.

“It’s sad, because he was an enormous talent,” Gaultier told a small group of journalists after he presented his fall-winter pret-a-porter collection as part of the ongoing Paris fashion week.

“Everything he has done has not revealed someone who is racist — quite to the contrary,” he said, alluding to the many Galliano collections that drew inspiration from the four corners of the world.

Dior fired Galliano, 50, its chief designer for 15 years, on Tuesday amid allegations that he made racist and anti-Semitic remarks while apparently drunk at a chic cafe in a historically Jewish corner of Paris.

With the catwalk show cancelled, John Galliano's latest collection was shown via a presentation format during Paris Fashion Week.

Galliano, whose theatrical flair informed both his designs and his life, apologised through his lawyers for his conduct, but denied being anti-Semitic, as he reportedly sought help at a substance abuse clinic in the United States.

Prosecutors have meanwhile charged Galliano with making racist insults. He is to appear in court in Paris by the end of June.

Referring to a mobile phone video in which Galliano is heard saying “I love Hitler,” Gaultier, 57, said: “With recordings, people can be made to say things that they did not say.”

“They pronounce some words, but what is the context?” he asked. “The person (speaking to Galliano) seems very assured, knowing very well what she is doing.”

“It is very sad” for the Gibralter-born and London-bred Galliano in that he was the one who had hurt himself, added Gaultier. He expressed hope that his counterpart would return to fashion and “find an inner peace”.

On the huge pressure that top-name designers can be subject to, Gaultier — famous for his youthful energy — said it was important not to spend time only with people in fashion circles.

“I am a workaholic,” he said. “It protects me. I started with nothing and my preoccupation is only to make, to put out collections.”