Before the Maison Margiela Spring Summer 2016 collection,  Charles and I were talking a lot about what to expect, wondering (as always) what would come from John Galliano's limitless mind. When it comes to Maison margiela my eyes are literally sparkling; I'm stupidly smiling and I simply don't have any answers to Charles's question about the clothes and the collection in general. Actually, I don't even try to formulate a hypothesis because such things don't work with Margiela. As far as I am concerned, I can't even imagine what Galliano will do because he is just as unpredictable as the Fashion House he is working for! With these two, you can expect the impossible! Moreover, I have to admit I am completely unable to be objective with Margiela & Galliano! That's the way it is, don't blame me guys! Just imagine every possible "Wow", "Haaaaa", "Ohhhhhh" that could come from my mouth. With this SS16 collection presented yesterday during Paris Fashion Week, the mystery is just as unresolved as before because with Margiela X Galliano, it's all about clothes. They speak first for the designer and the brand! The Margiela woman is a complete mystery to me (I absolutely love this situation) and this brand new collection is just confirming this willingness to define her as uncategorisable. But what Galliano wants to tell us that there are no genders, no trends, no fashion diktats here. Both women and men are wearing the breathtaking clothes that are at the same time retro, futuristic, japan-inspired, punk, couture, glam-rock and hand-crafted, the signature of the house.

For John Galliano, there are no boundaries between couture, ready to wear, masculinity, femininity, time periods, the underground cultures that have led to the punk movement or to streetwear for instance. This re-appropriation is on every level and pushed to its limits: with this collection, the minimalist "ghost" of Margiela is no longer but its essence is still very present even though the maximalist Galliano is starting to tell a brand new story, truly faithful to the brand. The silhouettes are the result of this remarkable chaos. Take the look number 2, a white mesh shift dress worn with an 'Artisanal' glass fragment collage top and a white cotton skirt. Here, low and profane are paired with a couture craftsmanship and less is more raw fabrics are used to cut a skirt. A neoprene single button jacket worn over a white organza shift dress and a zip front skirt is another example of a sporty and modern outfit. This collection is a take on uniqueness, avant-garde and impossible wardrobe. The Margiela sweatshirt featured in the picture above is also going beyond this idea of a casual and plain sweatshirt when made out of a wet pain 'cannage' chair print (as if the model sat on an old chair and it had left a print) and a punk-inspired metallic embroidery. A 'liquid fabric' (you can see on the 6th picture) whose secret is owned by the Margiela team only is used for a skirt with front pockets draped into a bow to go with this showstopper sweatshirt. Obi belts are becoming beautiful backpacks (the very first bags designed by John Galliano for Margiela). And what to say about the very Madame very Lady bags pastiching the Hermès Kelly that are hand-painted giving them a street-art extravaganza. I don't even mention the crazy art make up, the hair-cut and the shoes! Right now, the only question coming to my mind is "Who's that girl?" "Who's that boy?" I still don't know! She or he does not need to introduce herself/himself! That's the thing with Margiela, the clothes are speaking for her/him!

Pictures by Virginie Khateeb for Dazed

Words by Yann Sackville West

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