Maison Margiela Haute Couture Spring 19 Was a Kaleidoscope of Color

For Spring Summer 2019 Maison Margiela Couture, John Galliano presented an artisanal collection that was a Kaleidoscope of color.

The theme of couture fashion week seems to be that of celebrating artisanal techniques. Margiela’s latest coed couture collection was entitled ‘Artisanal’. John Galliano the creative director of Margiela presented a show that explored, excess, decadence, overstimulation, computer-generated altered realities in a digital world driven by millennial consumption. Galliano posed the question, ‘could inverted excess lead to a new appetite for restraint? is there a desire for change?’.

The show took place at Margiela’s Parisian headquarters. In an intimate space a digital graffiti backdrop and mirrored runway were designed to confuse the senses. Chaotic and unsettling the show felt like an experience, an event, it was performance art, theatre without unnecessary grandeur.

The opening looks referenced the electric backdrop, digital prints mixed with traditional hand embroideries, feather fonds, poddle iconography and reflective fabrics created shimmering effects. Then came traditional menswear tailoring in a mix of fabrics, block colours paired with prints, jackets that were fastened with kimono-esque ties. Deconstructed looks followed (one of Galliano’s trademarks) with partly unstitched pieces, unfinished seams, exposed padding and reinforcement stitches. The inside of a coat become the outside. Some jackets looked like pants, necklines resembled waist bands, and sleeves became pant legs. The deconstructed theme continued throughout with asymmetrical hems (one  jacket was considerable longer one side than the other) stitching was deliberately exposed highlighting the techniques that go into construction.

Galliano also featured white breeches and head pieces similar to wigs worn in 1700’s, a time period favoured by Galliano and is often referenced in his work (remember the S/S 1994 collection when a bewildered Kate Moss ran down the runway in a hooped crinoline). A Standout piece was the classic trench coat with contrast blue sleeves it felt new and fresh. “Everything’s been done,” Galliano explained that this was his motivation for “altering reality to create a new reality”.

Margiela notes that the collection was about observing/questioning excess but the spirit of the show felt more punk (what’s more rebellious than going against the grain of couture). And with references to club, street, rave, youth culture and past centuries the collection felt like a love letter to Galliano’s youth.

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