A look from John Galliano’s “Artisanal” Collection for Maison Martin Margiela in London. Photo: Courtesy
Today is #MargielaMonday, when all of the fashion industry decamped to London for not only the mens collections but also for John Galliano’s return to fashion as the Artistic Director of Maison Martin Margiela. The timing of this showing could not be more unprecedented. The designer—who famously fell from grace after making anti-semitic comments in a Paris cafe while in an alcohol and pill-fueled state which ultimately cost him his job as well as his own eponymous line—made his return to fashion one day after a million people marched in a massive country-wide protest in France in support of freedom of religion and free speech. “Je Suis Charlie“ signage filled the streets in honor of the slain members of Charlie Hebdo, and 40 world leaders including those from Israel and Palestine stood together in a rare moment of solidarity.
The pressure of making a triumphant return to fashion can be complicated enough, we can only imagine what was going through Galliano’s head on the tails of this epic global event. We knew the show would be be fantastical, and as the first pictures of the collection hit Instagram—despite an alleged “No Social Media” sign posted at the show—we were not disappointed. Given the gravity of the situation, fashion’s heaviest hitters came out in support of Galliano, who formally apologized for behavior the day after losing his job at Dior and also spent ample time in rehab. (He is now sober.) The audience included fellow designers Christopher Bailey, Alber Elbaz, and Manolo Blahnik. Take a look at what top editors and stylists had to say as well as our own review down below.
Arianne Phillips, Oscar-winning costume designer and stylist to Madonna (Exclusive to Yahoo Style): ”The dream is back! John Galliano meets Margiela. It was a fantastic synergistic moment of artistry for Margiela with Galliano at the helm. The silhouettes were gorgeous and feminine, both irreverent and modern. The embellishments were breathtaking. I am sure this collection will inspire a watershed of editorial shoots. The first group of looks was black, red, and flesh-colored …the second a parade of deconstructed patterns in the iconic Margiela white. Galliano respectfully honored the DNA of Margiela. I LOVED every minute of it. It was a beautifully edited show that left us us wanting more and looking forward to what is next. Bravo!”
And now for our own review! The show notes said that this collection was a “a return to one’s roots. Piece by piece, deconstructing and constructing a new story for Margiela.” The first look, a sleeveless vest that seemed painted to resemble wet cardboard, was paired with two-tone black and white tights. It was unmistakably Margiela and yet it had a lighter feel about it, a bit of humor that could come only from John Galliano’s mind. A tight, neutral palette stricken with bold, red looks, it was the perfect setting for feathered crowns, and seashell encrusted bodices meant to invoke a “Cabinet de Curiosités” feel. Hearty velvet coats and dresses came with see-through plastic pockets. There were also loosely tailored suits, architectural gowns, pearl headpieces, and bejeweled gloves. Galliano is one of the most talented designers in the world and he’s been waiting for a comeback and this was it in full force.
So, we ask you: are we ready to forgive?