Byline : Jessica Michault
Photo : courtesy of Maison Margiela
John Galliano is one of those designers whose work is a greatindicator of his current state of mind. On Wednesdaymorning, in the halls of the Hotel des Invalides and steps away from where Napoléon is entombed, he presented one of his strongest and most well-rounded collections since his appointment at Masion Margiela. So John must be in a pretty good place right now.
The era of the French Revolution was the starting point for this show. It’s an epoch that the designer has a particular fondness for and has revisited often. Raise your hand if you remember at least one of the times that John dressed up like an emperor in the past. And all you die-hard fashion historians out there of course recall his seminal graduation show from Central Saint Martins back in 1984. It was called “Les Incroyables” and it too was inspired by the period. It made Galliano an overnight star.
Maison Margiela haute couture fall-winter 2016
Today Galliano is a known fashion commodity. But that doesn’t make his work any less thrilling. His Maison Margiela Artisanal collection was a mastercourse in the exploration of volume and repurposing. He spliced the hems of two Revolutionary officers jackets together to create an undulating coat. He reworked a short mint green dress so that it was adorned with the vacuum-sealed plastic outline of 18th century molding. And an elegant flowing maiden’s dress, in the designer’s hands, came crafted out of mens shirting with a train so long that the model had to haul the train over her shoulder, holding onto its hem which had been finished off in what looked like colorful mountain climbing rope.
Chanel haute couture fall-winter 2016
This ingenuity and audacity is what the fashion world loves about Galliano. And it is also such a core feature of the fashion house he took over that it feels as if this show wasn’t so much a revolution as it was a love match between creative kingdoms. And now begins their golden age of peace and prosperity.