“Nomadic glamour,” intoned John Galliano on his Margiela artisanal pre-show podcast (a brilliant innovation – the designer explains his motivations and techniques in his distinctive, dramatic drawl). “We’re all nomads now,” he said and created layered-up looks as if the models were wearing their most precious possessions (including iPhones strapped to their legs and TV screens embedded into bags). He’s been exploring the idea of “a new glamour” for three seasons now, unpicking traditional codes and remaking them in a unique, highly crafted ways.
“We gave ourselves a real work out in the atelier,” he said of the intense experimentation that goes into his artisanal collections. The first look was a fifties dirndl skirt in a delicious MaxFactor coral lipstick colour (the glamour element). Galliano spliced into it then put it on the shoulders instead of the waist and it suddenly became a jacket. The designer dubbed this migratory concept “reverse dressing.” He created experimental volumes, layering looks into bundles on the body, as if the wearer had dressed in haste, grabbed the nearest thing and adapted them to their needs – a patchwork quilt for a coat and a silken versions of Jiffy bags ingeniously doubling as pockets. “Volumes. That’s what makes fashion move forward. It’s the volumes that make the difference,” said the designer who will adapt these silhouettes for his ready-wear. Some pieces were made with recycled off-cuts from other luxury houses, others were sheer so that their inner workings (and Galliano’s cutting skills) were on display. Galliano gets to the artistic essence of couture. It’s not about the expensive trapping of ladies who lunch or matching your jewellery to your dress. For him it’s a crucible of ideas and that’s the greatest luxury of all.
by Claudia Croft