#SuzyPFW: Maison Margiela – From Runway To Reality

It takes time!” exclaimed Renzo Rosso. “This is the first time in three years that it has come together.”

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The executive and brand owner was referring to the fact that Maison Margiela had finally found in the work of John Galliano, its creative director, a collection that could move from powering the runway to sales reality.

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

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The audience applauded this collection that flagged up all the Galliano ideas such as windows – small, neat ones – on the body and threads wafting from a tailored blazer. That concept not only offered a sophisticated version of the undone – a familiar story from the designer; but also introduced colour in the most subtle way.

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

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More importantly, the idea of the unfinished or the partly destroyed was controlled in a masterful way with a small, neat square of cloth scissored out at the front; while at the back the open spaces were rampant: a grid that alternately revealed and concealed flesh; sometimes an open window on the body with a single strip of cloth down the spine; and finally, the fabric reduced to strings from knees to hem.

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

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Galliano talked in his show notes about breaking wardrobe classics down to their core as he had done in his last summer’s ‘Artisanal’ collection. But this time, he had put the pieces back together again.

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Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

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It is frustrating not to be able to talk face-to-face with the designer, when he sends out such an excellent show, for the notes sounded like some corporate statement about an art installation. They read: “Iconography is founded in collective emotions created by the memories which unite us and give us hope.”

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

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Of course, the real ‘collective memory’ here is the exceptional work Galliano has produced over the years for his own line and for Christian Dior. And in this show, when the designer spoke through the clothes, rather than in stilted words, the effect was powerful.

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Maison Margiela Autumn/Winter 2017

Indigital

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Galliano cited the varsity jacket and the trench coat among many other key starting points. But after the opening note of a classic beige coat, other tailored clothes came out in diverse fabrics from wool to denim. Add an image of Marilyn Monroe making a ghostly appearance among other blown-up prints; plus some checks and dots; and a little nudity under a cover-up of fleshy stretch fabric. In resume, it was everything that Galliano loves – in moderation.

This was a fine moment for the designer, rehabilitated from his past; but also a great step forward for Margiela. With the original Martin Margiela putting his seminal work on display at the MoMu museum in Antwerp at the end of March, Galliano has given the founding designer the pleasure of seeing his spirit living on in a pure and passionate way.

Vogue

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