Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2015 Couture

Jan 13, 2015

It would be interesting to know what, if anything, John Galliano felt he had to prove with his first collection for Maison Martin Margiela. Deconstruction was always one of Margiela's central precepts, and Galliano proved himself more than a match with his own efforts, especially with a postscript that saw the models parading by in pinned-together toiles, a revelatory way to illuminate the creative processes behind the collection. Minimalism was another Margiela signature, Galliano again proving his mastery with an androgynous black suit and a ravishing series of simple red gowns. The Mao-collared one, in velvet, swooped daringly low in the back. Some fearless starlet could make her name in such a dress during awards season.

Humor often bubbled under a Margiela collection, with unlikely found elements—the residue of human civilization—brought in to add some wit or dimensionality. Here, Galliano trailed toy cars across the collaged landscape of a tiny suede sheath. He used shells to make three-dimensional Arcimboldo-like faces on the front of dresses. He even referenced the house's flashy showgirl side, with leopard-print accents and metal fringing on short shorts.

Such incongruity was a tool for Margiela because it provoked new ways to look at the familiar. To be reminded of that here was further proof that Galliano has indeed found a new home. There was none of the old grandstanding when he took a tentative blink-and-you-missed-it bow in the white coat that is the uniform of the Margiela atelier, but the show itself spoke to no diminution in his talent. He's back, everyone cried at show's end, palpable excitement overwhelming the sense of relief.



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