Maison Margiela Artisanal: Couture SS19
In his now customary pre-show podcast John Galliano declared with thespian vowels that he was “Starting a new chapter,” with his co-ed, Artisanal collection at Maison Margiela. After several seasons spent exploring a “new glamour” it was time to move on. Galliano has been hit with the realisation, (rather late in life and after a career spent expressing his most baroque imaginings) that he was, in fact, decadent to the core. “I go down into the street and spray perfume before my guests arrive,” he explained in an accent which borrows heavily from the Kenneth Williams school of dramatic delivery. Everything Galliano does is “extra” even when he strips it down. Pair that with the excess and artifice of the plugged-in modern world and Galliano was ready to unveil his “new era of decadence.”
But first he had to create chaos. A mirrored floor reflected the ceiling daubed with digital graffiti and a strange blue poodle motif. The first outfit was made of an exploded jacquard of the ceiling graffiti, it’s colourful strands unpicked to create a lavish fringe. Tailored coats and culottes had windows spliced out of them to reveal the layer beneath and trousers migrated up the body to form a dress, worn by a boy. This co-ed show was gender fluid, epitomised by the many onesies, often worn with the arms inside the garment so they looked like strange bags, (or straight jackets). There was method in the madness. The idea was to mirror the digital culture overload and overwhelm the senses. It worked. Charles Jeffrey, front row and seeing his first ever Galliano show, (and surely an heir to Galliano’s unbridled fashion creativity), talked of the goosebumps moments he had during the show. “It’s so inspiring,” he said. That it is.