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Christian Dior SS03 couture vs Maison Martin Margiela AW03

Galliano vs Margiela: a visual history

Today marks Galliano’s couture debut for Margiela. In anticipation, we look back at their archives and trace the overlooked visual parallels between their two worlds

John Galliano taking on the role as creative director at Maison Martin Margiela initially sounded like a contradictory tale – two sartorial powerhouses, but each very different in terms of design. Galliano’s shows were all about excess and escapism, transporting the viewer into new, extravagantly theatrical worlds, and his personal presence – appearing in his own elaborate looks at the end of each show (yes, there’s even a compilation) – is legendary. Margiela, on the other hand, was founded on strictly minimalist principles, renowned for its reputation as a house focussed not on the individual but the collective, and on a collective aura of secrecy. But after the recent reveal of Matthieu Blazy and Galliano's new appointment, things are set to change at the once elusive Maison: it is stepping into the spotlight like never before, radically rebelling against its own principles. What’s more, the entire industry is waiting with bated breath.

Today is a new era for Margiela. To celebrate, we’ve decided to take a retrospective look at the history of both the designer and the brand, to explore the unseen parallels between their work. What this afternoon will bring for them both – only time will tell.