If you haven’t been highly anticipating Galliano’s return to the fashion week calendar for Maison Martin Margiela after four years, then you don’t belong here. I’m joking. (slightly).
The collection itself was undeniable Galliano’s, albeit with touches of Margiela-minimalism. The set design was quite possibly one of the most pared back in Galliano’s history, with a small audience, white seating and no decorative adornments. With a colour palette of rich ruby reds, palatial golds, deep blacks, creamy camels and hints of animal print, the collection was a world away from your typical Margiela show. Gold voiles, silk taffeta, highly embellished breast plates all adorned the showstoppers, each look complete with two-tone platform shoes and elaborate headpieces. For a Margiela couture show, the fabrics were perhaps more extravagant than typically expected.
The theme of decay offered a haunting washed-at-sea vibe with sea shells and latex evoking a creature of the ocean; hair plastered to the head and face also suggested a sense of a washed up creation.
The show was seemingly a humbling experience for Galliano as he reflected over his fallen star vicariously through the medium of design, appearing very briefly at the end of the show wearing a traditional white lab coat as worn by the Maison Martin Margiela team.
FROWers at the show was basically a who’s who? list of anyone that’s anyone in the fashion industry: Anna Wintour, Alber Elbaz and Nick Knight were just a few to mention. As for the show? Well fashion has recently started to feel repetitive (normcore?), predictable (normcore?) and almost trend-less (normcore?) Galliano has single-handedly, with just one show, made the shows an event again, both in person and online. Never have I seen a more highly anticipated show before on social media; everyone on my timeline, news feed and Instagram home page was tagging #MargielaMonday with abundance.
For me, Galliano’s return says much about the fashion industry as it does Galliano himself as well as the house of Margiela. I personally am beyond glad that those inside the industry as well as those who appear to be outsiders looking in, have now allowed themselves to look past his “scandal” and accept him for the genius that he so clearly is.
Long live John Galliano.