Maison Margiela: Defiant deconstruction, back home in the Marais
John Galliano marked a return to his old neighbourhood on a crisp Wednesday morning, with an impressive statement of his signature deranged beauty presented in the Marais, the storied neighbourhood where he has resided for almost two decades in Paris.
Staged in the Hotel Coulanges, a grand mansion currently being renovated. The second floor entirely painted pink. Pink footsteps spray-painted onto the second floor, where not even 200 guests gathered, sitting on pink school chairs.
After a lengthy wait, Galliano sent out some marvellous fashion concoctions. Instant museum pieces, but also some great assertive fashion ideas, eye-catching assemblages in artful deconstruction.
The UK couturier also impressed with his majorly flared highwayman coats finished with missing buttons and faux dropped stitches. For evening, he concentrated on cut-out – and largely transparent – velvet or leather columns, with underwear in matching shades, before combining the two elements in a witty fashion inside joke.
Models wore fishnet headgear, where it was hard to tell their gender. Sporting blue lips and daffy upside down plant pot hats, they all looked destined to attend some great Bal des Victimes, though not during the French Revolution, more one at 5am in a Berlin techno club.
Like the clothes, the soundtrack was a mash-up – several tracks by the late departed Malcolm McLaren, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin groaning through Je Tʼaime Moi Non Plus, juxtaposed with the Sound of Music.
Saving his best for the finale, with a septet of guys in witty reinventions of the City Gent. Chalk stripe banker suits, their shoulders cut out, their stitches saddle style.
A return home to his signature deconstruction and also to the scene of his fall. It was in the nearby La Perle café where his drunken rant recorded on a mobile phone led to his dismissal from Christian Dior.
After a great burst of applause, no bow. Galliano has never taken one during his entire tenure at Margiela, often leaving the venture at the last passage. And when one editor asked backstage for the whereabouts of the couturier, a PR staffer responded, “Oh, he left a day ago”.
Post-show, a gang of editors walked around the block to the new Dover Street Market beauty store, and the launch of the latest Margiela scent, Mutiny, created by Galliano.
For whatever else they may say about John, no one could ever accuse him of being lazy.
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