Thursday 26th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Maison Margiela: Ready-To-Wear SS20

Nostalgia and strangeness: John Galliano continues to reflect on digital culture with a show that harked back and forward at the same time – often within the same look. He took vintage, archetypal uniforms from nurses to nuns, sailors to infantry soldiers as a starting point but outfits glitched and merged, so a nun’s habit was worn with a black leather biker jacket or the starched collar of a nurses uniform lay beneath a hole punched cocktail dress. He took what was familiar and made it strange.

The right leg of a cigar-shaped suit trouser was ‘ripped’ at the seam, a tweedy demob suit was shrunken down to shorts knee boots and an oversized blazer. Sheer coats with holes punched into them were worn over strapless party dresses and suiting alike. A pair of satin dungaree shorts looked utilitarian from the front but had a bouncing, buoyant bustle behind.
He called them Watteau backs. These echoes of glamour and wartime struck a nostalgic note. The designer’s podcast, released before the show, talked of “a time when glamour, lest we forget, was often tantamount to hope.” But there’s also something entirely modern about Galliano’s anarchic cut and collage approach.

The final look belonged to the marvellous model Leon Dame who menaced the front row in a belted mini, leather trench, tall boots and white underpants. His attitude – pure punk defiance went to the heart of Galliano’s Margiela. This is a house where individuality, self-knowledge and self-expression drive the creative process.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.