Maison Margiela has rebranded itself with Galliano’s debut show. However, it is not in the way of adding his name to the label but merely a burst of new perspectives to the fashion house’s aesthetic language. And nobody objects, as it seems. As the house’s new creative director, Galliano injected a loud voice into the new collection that was exposed by models brushed in kabuki makeup. The amplified burst of colors through eyeliners and extensive fake eyelashes were the balance to the romantic gestures of Galliano’s dresses. Wanting to put more focus on the clothes, the uninfected plain white backdrop was the only aspect that kept the show true to its Maison Margiela’s inner core, as the clothes were all about Galliano’s new beginnings.
Against that plain white backdrop, the resurfacing of theatrics in the industry was more than overwhelming; it would not be Monsieur Galliano if it lacked a slight bit of playfulness. As a general picture, the runway was relaxed and it was inevitable that Galliano was having a good time. The opening act was an array of maxi coats in suede and leathers paired with those provocative pieces of cropped and split velvet trousers and tartan minis. The evoking calculate imperfection was seen through individual emerges of pieces such as trench coats with openings in raw edges and plaid skirt worn inside out with silk slips revealing bits of the hem. Authentic Galliano romanticism was exposed through long negligee dresses and jackets in cheetah print base embellished with touches of feather and python lapels. And his playful theatrics? Transforming a pinstriped blazer into a corset with sleeves dangling from the back, wrapping gracefully around the fluorescent-brushed model. With a relatively small number of 30 looks, Galliano awed the hall of Grand Palais with such distinct pleasure, leaving no traces of a single unmemorable piece from the collection.
It is relatively unusual for such a phenomenon fashion house to invest itself into the high road of hiring such a drastic change in creative direction, yet Galliano’s talent in couture and his energy consumption, it seems to be a clash of perfection. Perhaps with Galliano’s no-show at the end of the show, he is awaiting to be exposed at a later fiasco under the Margiela’s legacy. With such discretion, his debut collection under Maison Margiela was one that was otherwise. (Text Nadilla Sari Ratman)