Anyone who was one of the lucky 100 invitees including Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Manolo Blahnik + Rifat Ozbek, to view Galliano’s comeback with his Maison Margiela’s Artisanal Couture Spring collection, was nothing but spellbound + yet, not at all surprised as Galliano is a true genius in making fantasy real + wearable. With the Martin dropped from the house’s name, having been long gone, according to WWD, Galliano created a two-part production had models first file out in one direction, + return in part two wearing the toiles + experiments to realize this Artisanal collection, for everything from bird figurines, scraps of fabric + safety pins were repurposed.
With so many pieces harking back to his days at Dior, like a mermaid dress wrapped in ribbon, there were the other looks that stayed true to Margiela couture’s original mission of up cycling, from dresses fronted with 3-D faces made of lacquered seashells as a nod to to Giuseppe Arcimboldo paintings + raw canvas jackets trimmed with Matchbox cars. Even a velvet gown wasn’t safe, with a whole army of toy soldiers charging across its shoulder. There was even a strapless trapeze dress with what looked like a face created by using swatches of white fabric to form the eyes + red to form the lashes.
Immediately following the show, Margiela emailed show notes that read ’a process of discovery, returning to one’s roots: Piece by piece, deconstructing + constructing a new story for Margiela,’ + Galliano proved to be the perfect master storyteller. Renzo Rosso who appointed Galliano to helm Margiela, after the show told WWD, “You have no idea what dreamers John and his team are and how much love goes into their work,” Rosso told WWD after the show, ‘We are so excited and happy. This is a very big moment for John + for Margiela. I saw some of the pieces in the studio beforehand, + we talked about them – but I never interfere. John is totally free. What you saw today was Margiela with the Galliano spirit.’
After the show, Anna Wintour told WWD, ‘It was brilliant. What I loved was the mix: There was so much that we know + we love about John, but then he took the Margiela vocabulary + translated it in such an appealing + innovative way. I loved seeing all the toiles at the end where you can see all the work + the new embroidery.’ Burberry’s Christopher Bailey said, ‘It was so surreal — this is the first show I have ever seen. I do shows, but I don’t go to them. It was just extraordinary. I wanted to keep pressing the pause button, to study, look closer at, play with + enjoy the clothes. It was just what I had hoped for – and more.’ In other words, John is back!
(photos: Giovanni Giannoni)