Maison Margiela: Ready-to-wear AW20

Creative, inventive, unfettered: Isn’t this what a fashion show is supposed or be? John Galliano employs a trickle down creative method. He experiments wildly with new ideas in his artisanal collections and then applies them to the more accessible ready-to-wear. The creativity is so pure that just a small drop goes a long way, but this ready-to-wear collection didn’t feel diluted at all. It expanded on similar themes to January’s artisanal couture show, which explored bourgeois gestures and upcycled pieces found in charity shops, a method that he repeated for this collection. “One thing that’s been really thrilling is to have the courage, myself and the team, to explore charity-shop finds,” he explained in his customary pre-show podcast. “We came to the conclusion there are far too many clothes in the world!” he said, and took it as an opportunity to expand upon the idea of Margiela’s cult Replica. He reanimated and updated the concept. Instead of painstakingly recreating vintage pieces, as the original Replica line did, Galliano and his team sourced old clothes from charity shops which were then upcycled into this new collection – ‘Recicla’ line (a portmanteau of ‘recycle’ and ‘replica’,). So charity shop cashmere knits were bonded to chiffon, the lapels and plackets of vintage coats were collaged onto the front of a new outfit. “The joy that comes with being able to sell those pieces among the rest of the collection thrills me,” explained the designer who also introduced a new bag range made entirely from discarded leather off-cuts. The textures and cuts were dazzling, as was the colour palette. The whole thing felt like an answer to the urgent question: What is fashion supposed to do in the 21st century? Exactly this.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.