Maison Margiela Spring/Summer 2021
S.W.A.L.K. II: a multi-pronged event built on community, family and tango.
In a fantasia of Zoom calls, docu-esque footage, and a serial sequence of B-roll played to the emotive movements of the tango, Nick Knight-lensed scenes follow hard on the heels of John Galliano’s Parisian haute couture S.W.A.L.K., unveiling the second and final installment of his series: S.W.A.L.K. II.
For Spring/Summer 2021 Maison Margiela’s collection travels the porous borders dividing art and fashion, with the ever-broad “phygital” interpretation of the moment making absolutely anything possible. “We’re just not creating a runway show. What I want to message now is that this is just the best medium,” Galliano told Vogue’s Sarah Mower over Zoom. “How many people get to see how toiles are made, how all the pieces of the jigsaw of a collection come together—the hair, the makeup, the music? The thought of doing a runway show now is just, really?”
Set in a figurative Buenos Aires, home of the tango, the Maison Margiela team staged S.W.A.L.K. II amidst a post-quarantine Tuscany, dancing out the metronome of Spain’s sultry joie de vivre in a reimagined Tabi shoe – modestly heeled to appease the dance. Circular cutting mimics the drape of wet fabric, muslin and tulles allow for the dips, sways, and drags of tango while artisanal tailoring cuts into point d’esprit, and slashed trousers shore-up a worn, lived-in, moved-in delicacy that not only allows for dance, but is evocative “of that beautiful fatigue in the clothes” – one rendered so vivid.
While the traditional cadence of a runway show may be left in the Maison Margiela archives, Galliano’s painterly eyes have captured each season as far more than a luxury play, and with this shift in the digital sphere, a global audience can now embrace his fashion with that same frisson.