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28.02.2019

#SuzyPFW: Maison Margiela Has A Big Hit

Swan Lake on the soundtrack as John Galliano brings his magical touch to Maison Margiela A/W19 collection. Credit: GORUNWAY

John Galliano turns signets into swans in a show full of imagination and skill

he last time John Galliano put his creative heart on stage was for Maison Margiela Artisanal during January couture. Back then there was such a cacophony of sound, such a bursting of colour and pattern, that it seemed a visual overdose.

Intriguing cut and shaping to the body suggested this was more than tailoring with a twist. Credit: GORUNWAY

Cut to this Paris ready-to-wear-season and everything has changed - including the music as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake filled the show space.

Out came a dark, tailored outfit, and another and yet more - only an intriguing cut and shaping to the body suggested that this was more than tailoring with a twist.

Galliano was at his original best for the Maison Margiela A/W19 collection. Credit: GETTY IMAGES

For Maison Margiela, it was proof that Galliano could - and was willing to - make apparently simple but actually complex creations. At its best, a conventional coat would have sleeves at least two sizes bigger, or another coat had sliced sleeves laid flat as though it were still in the cutting room.
There was around a couple of dozen of these complicated-pieces-made-simple, then, halfway through the soaring sounds, a model walked down the runway in a black dress that revealed a glorious display of colour and pattern from behind.

The decoration was perfectly positioned both on the body and in the show and introduced the concept of a human being morphing into a swan. This imposter appeared subtly at first: shoes that had the models walk as if with webbed feet; a flurry at the neck as if of feathers; sudden colours as if wings were unfolding.

The simple-yet-complex black tailoring revealed a burst of colour. Credit: GORUNWAY

It was a show of art and imagination for which Galliano was at his original best.

You could imagine the huge relief of Renzo Rosso, the president of the OTB group who own Maison Margiela, and who must have been waiting for this moment when all Galliano’s imagination could - to put it crudely - be turned into a buck. 

This was a good moment for the designer and for fashion.

Suzy Menkes
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