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  • Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2015

  • Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2015

  • Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2015

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Galliano returns to fashion with Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2015

In one of the most anticipated comebacks in the history of fashion, John Galliano showed in London his first ever couture collection for Maison Margiela, almost four years after being dismissed from Christian Dior and his namesake label. Galliano presented an extraordinary collection that merged Margiela’s deconstructive spirit and innovative approach to fashion with his own epic theatricality, creating an inspired hybrid that left the 100 guests that attended the show, among them friends and colleagues like Kate Moss, Christopher Bailey, Alber Elbaz, Manolo Blahnik, Rifat Ozbek, Jasper Conran, Paolo Roversi, Tim Walker, Nick Knight and Craig McDean, really impressed.

Paying homage to his “formative years and his beginnings in the industry that are intrinsically related to the city’s traditional tailoring history and heritage”, Galliano stayed true to Artisanal’s spirit of upcycling, incorporating found objects, toys, shells and vintage tatters in his designs. The collection was bold and feminine, with Victorian like dresses and red velvet gowns stealing the spotlight, accompanied by some impressive headpieces and bicolor latex tights. The embellishments were really astonishing, evoking tribal masks and Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s anthropomorphic portraits made of vegetables and fruits.

There were also echoes of Margiela’s trademark minimalism, like bold tuxedos and sharp silhouettes, always seen through Galliano’s playful eyes. The show started with an androgynous look and closed with a stunning, Basquiat-meets-Mexican-sugar-skulls bridal gown that many interpreted as the designer’s attempt to tame his own ghosts. The collection definitely had a raw edge to it, occasionally interrupted by surprising touches of elegant sensuality that made the perfect counterpoint to the more baroque looks. It was Galliano at his best, an imaginative reading of Margiela’s legacy and at the same time an excellent revision of what made Galliano a great fashion designer.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life – every outfit tells a story and we have been working for six months – so much time on each one,” said Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel and owner of Margiela. “It was brilliant,” Anna Wintour said after the show. “What I loved was the mix: There was so much that we know and we love about John, but then he took the Margiela vocabulary and translated it in such an appealing and innovative way.” Galliano is back and one thing is for sure: he is back to stay!