January 13, 2015
By Marcellous L. Jones
Paris, France – The wait is finally over and John Galliano is back, but with a new haute couture collection signed for Maison Martin Margiela.
Exceptionally staged in London this season instead of Paris, the scene at the show was serene, eerily calm but with a choking anticipation that nearly overwhelmed the air.
Among the privileged 150 guests in attendance at the show were fashion luminaries like Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Manolo Blahnik, Rifat Ozbek and Galliano’s personal and faithful friend Kate Moss. Each guest had been hand picked by John Galliano to share in this, perhaps the most important moment in his career since his debut show at Christian Dior nearly 20 years ago. And no photographers other than the house photographers were allowed.
This collection – Cabinet de Curiosités – sets forth a properly ostentatious display of visual beauty, true skill in cutting, tailoring, techniques and exquisite craftsmanship. The show began with models standing tall on impossibly high, two-toned stacked wedge heels. We find elongated silhouettes, micro-shorts with elaborate fringes, cinched waistlines from which the silhouettes are constructed; oversized tuxedos, coat-dresses, corsets, fishnet tights, flouncing, and ornate jewellery.
The choice of vermillion is the perfect hue of red. An extremely intense and emotional color, it pushes forth so easily the shock nature of certain forbidden delights! Galliano uses it to the advantage of the collection in tulles and body-affirming velvets. It shows that the couturier has not lost any of his near-mythical fire and passion. The only curiosity in the collection comes in the form of the red coat with elaborate front designs. It raises the eyebrows of this writer in the sense that it reminds one of that which is going on these days at Schiaparelli. And its huge corsair’s cuffs is perhaps is a bit too reminiscent of Galliano’s previous work at Dior. If correct, it is a pardonable faux-pas.
When all was said and done, it became instantly clear that the new Maison Martin Margiela haute couture collection for Spring/Summer 2015 is all the talk. Carefully staged to the minutest detail in order to obtain the best outcome, the house’s strategy has gotten for it exactly what it desires.
Now that London has spoken, Paris will undoubtedly have no choice but to fall in line behind the English as it always does in such instances. It must open its arms to Galliano and welcome him back home. It will be done to the delight of most, but to the dismay of the few remaining unforgiving.
Though the company’s carefully lain strategy has brought triumph to Maison Martin Margiela and Galliano, it must be stated that fashion is the unequivocal true victor here today.