REVIEW It has been nearly four years since John Galliano was dismissed from his post at Dior, but today Galliano made his official return as the new creative force behind Margiela, with his first Artisanal show for the Italian-owned fashion house.
Anticipation for the show was incredibly high and came with its own hashtag #MargielaMonday, with just a few lucky journalists, industry heavyweights and supporters to gain access.
15 minutes before the show was scheduled to begin, Margiela's holding company's founder Renzo Rosso posted an image of the venue, which showed an empty tiled runway, with just a single row of chairs on either side, proving this was only ever going to be an intimate affair. Shortly after, the Daily Mail published images of Kate moss entering the building, reiterating this was no ordinary guest list with the usual front row press drive.
Galliano is constructing a new story for Margiela
The show notes read: “Piece by piece," Mr. Galliano is “deconstructing and constructing a new story for Margiela." He did so in two parts, noted the New York Times, and the show opened with outerwear-turned-innerwear jackets in black or red, with reversed sleeves in a deconstructed way that only Margiela and Galliano could produce. Elsewhere beautifully draped dresses, elaborate headpieces, an all-red coat with matching latex gloves and a dress that looked as if it was crafted with a layer of everyday objects showed his
And then the show reversed, but with almost a shadow version of the same show, from deconstructed tailoring through to the finale, but this time the looks were rendered in toiles and canvas, the clothes stripped back to their barest seams. As the show notes stated, it was "marching in honest testimony of the process, the trials and errors, the time and emotion behind each cut, each line, each vision.”
Back in December US Vogue editor Anna Wintour was the first to wear Margiela by Galliano at the British Fashion Awards. But judging by the positive reception and warm welcome back, these dresses will no doubt be back in the land of the desirable, his talent having withstood the time he was absent from the catwalk and industry. With the show's soundtrack with Shirley Bassey's "Big Spender," the biggest spend will be that of Galliano's hard work to regain his foothold back into the job he was meant to do. As British Vogue's editor Alexandra Schulman wrote: "With a clear head, his talent and passion for his work there is much to look forward to now he has got his first steps back into the limelight out of the way."
His comeback was praised by all who attended the show. AFP spoke to a number of guests who were thrilled to see Galliano's return.
"I thought the show was sensational," added Hilary Alexander after the catwalk.
"It's what we've been missing. It was John Galliano at his absolute peak of perfection, combining the skills of a fabulous atelier with his own very romantic and fantastical vision." Burberry's chief executive Christopher Bailey said the show was "magical", while footwear designer Manolo Blahnik told reporters: "Fabulous! I'm glad he's working again." Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, said the collection was a "template".
"You couldn't really look at it exactly for the clothes, it was more to give the spirit of what he wanted to do," she said. "It was beautifully done and you remember what a talent he is," said Natalie Massenet, chairman of the British Fashion Council and founder of online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter. Even Renzo Rosso, president of the group that owns Maison Margiela, was moved by his show. "I could even cry, the dresses were beautiful, what he's done is incredible," Rosso said.
"John is coming from London. He started here, he said: 'I want to start again from London'. "This was just to say ok, we're back."Images: Margiela by Galliano Artisanal via Instagram