Year after year, collection after collection, our love for Maison Margiela is growing without limits. We love it because it creates "unexpected objects of fashion". John Galliano, the designer in charge of the brand for 2 years now (but it already feels like centuries!), is playing with these objects, using the label as a huge and endless laboratory (the very meaning of Margiela actually) of ideas, trying to disrupt fashion with new concepts & new silhouettes. Magic is still operating! Maison Margiela doesn't follow trends, it launches its very own. Look at the state of Modern Fashion, the Margiela's legacy can be felt everywhere!
This Autumn Winter 2017/18 collection is mostly about America, a subject very "in vogue" at the moment. After all, two months ago, America was still synonym of Freedom and you have to feel very free to design the clothes we saw yesterday on the runway. The Land of Plenty/Freedom/Trump is here revamped by John Galliano who is merrily mixing Past/Present/Future in a dystopian & fascinating storytelling! Galliano is one of the best fashion storytellers according to us. So, in this new story you may find cowgirls, Native Americans, college girls, neo pompom girls and many other stereotypes relating to American Pop culture. And even the Statue of Liberty appearing on the back of a trench-coat.
The cut out experimentation initiated in the Artisanale line two months ago are here taken to another level with this idea of a broken tailoring, a complex layering of fabrics & colors that are almost merging and that are all participating in this insane riot of inspirations! Proportions are bold, details on the clothes are viral; this is a wardrobe odyssey blending masculinity & femininity with accents of a distorted glamour. Some details or embellishments look as if they were coming from the Artisanale Collection (the jewelry for instance); there is a deep sense of uniqueness in this collection, in the high-polished chrome necklace or in the neo-Tabi shoes with the drawstring detail for example. This AW17 collection is all about "décortiqué" i.e. deconstructing the garment to its limits as if there were nothing left from the original material or only seams & structures. Take the outstanding décortiqué black satin belted dress with star-shaped jewelry worn over a bias cut ruffled chiffon dress; the remains of the black satin dress are like jewelries, an absolute embellishment for the chiffon dress, giving it a brand new meaning. We also particularly loved the deconstructed varsity jacket worn over an iconic beige bodysuit (one among many other Margiela's signature pieces).
This collection is insane in every possible way! The clothes, the make-up courtesy of legend Pat McGrath and of course, the styling transforming the fluffy/hairy Margiela 5AC bag into a headpiece (each and every headpiece is outstanding!). There are so many ideas, so many things to look at, to admire! The structure of a wool overcoat seems to merge with tulle panels and is worn over a printed tulle length-floor dress and shearling boots. A jacket is made out of the fusion of patches of snakeskin, fringed checked-scarves, black velvet and studded embellishments.The final look, a carpet-printed coat with furry cuffs is adorned by stitching details & flashes of color, worn over a matching skirt ann the skeleton of a bright blue floor-length dress. An infinite visual fest (may we say orgy?)! This is another level of sophistication; John Galliano is pushing forward the idea of trompe l'oeil, another house's ethos with his faux snakeskin meeting couture craftsmanship. The designer is playing with stereotypes of luxury, juxtaposing high-end fabrics with low & profane ones, adding a certain sense of drama. After all, Galliano & Drama are synonyms aren't they?
This new Maison Margiela collection is a play on play on play.... Galliano, while remaining totally and unconditionally faithful to the Margiela codes & aesthetics is tearing fashion apart, literally putting it upside down. His vision of the iconic label (is there a word stronger than iconic?) may be more flamboyant & crazier, its legacy is intact and in damn good hands!
Words by Yann Sackville-West & Charles Margueritte
Pictures by Lillie Eiger for Dazed