For his sophomore haute couture Artisanal show at Maison Margiela, designer John Galliano's spirit came beautifully to the fore.
Once upon a time, Galliano was known for his bombastic showmanship and performance piece finale bows – a past he has put to rest over the last year, leaving his collections for Margiela to stand on their own merits. No pomp. No circumstance.
So important was this need not to distract from the clothes that there was almost a sense Galliano was holding back, perhaps hedging his bets, just a tad. This was no longer the case on Wednesday when the mind meld between the house and the designer looked to be complete. The experimental repurposing of fabrics, which is the at the foundation of this line, and Galliano's poetic yet playful world view produced a collection that transformed even the most mundane textiles into something extraordinary and unique.
Case in point – the burlap potato sack that was boldly embellished with three-dimensional embroidery. But that's a bit of a low hanging fruit example. So how about Yves Klein blue fringed cuffs on a lace coat, which, on closer inspection, prove to be made from the waistbands of velvet pants. Or a colorful shift dress constructed from the raw yarn underside of tapestry panels.
Much of the focus of this collection was on the draping and controlled volume of the salvaged fabrics. But for every exquisite beige pink padded coat gown, with an inexplicably perfect whorl of blue silk at the back, or gathered black silk dress with a gilded Japanese print running down the length of one side, there was a spot on tailored black jacket or fitted shimmering macramé pencil skirt. And all of it worn with some impressive curved blade-like Plexiglas heels.
Yes, without question, this was a theatrical collection. But it was lovely to see the spotlight focus once again on fashion that transports the audience to somewhere unpredictable.
(Re)discover the Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture collection right here.