Almost four years after being dismissed from Dior, John Galliano made his fashion comeback today with his first couture show for Margiela. Just before five o'clock today, he presented the Artisanal range for women in London. And anticipation was, to put it mildly, incredibly high.
15 minutes before the show was scheduled to begin, OTB head Renzo Rosso posted a tantalising snap of the venue. It showed an empty tiled runway, flanked on either side by a single row of chairs – showing just how intimate the show was going to be.
According to WWD, only about 100 people had been invited to the show, including editors and friends of the designer. Photographer Nick Knight and Alber Elbaz of Lanvin was spotted early on in the venue, along with Galliano's personal champion, Anna Wintour. The Vogue editor in chief was the first to wear Margiela by Galliano at the British Fashion Awards in December.
In an early statement announcing the collection, Margiela said that Galliano's decision to show in London was a personal one, citing a return to the Gibraltar-born Londoner's "formative years and his beginnings in the industry — and it is intrinsically related to the city’s traditional tailoring history and heritage". Four days before the collection, Margiela posted a black-and-white image of its invitation, which simply read: "#MargielaMonday. London 12.01.15".
To the sound of Shirley Bassey's "Hey Big Spender", the models walked out. So what did Galliano for Margiela look like? Put simply, it was Galliano all over: beautiful draped dresses, elaborate headpieces, even a shocking all-red coat with matching latex gloves – this was not Galliano the shrinking violet. The seating may have been a classic Margiela white, but the collection was far from minimal.
Nastya Sten opened the show in a camel suede, raw-edged mini-dress:
Galliano's elaborate, gold-encrusted take on the iconic Margiela mask closed the show:
After the models filed down the runway, the man of the hour emerged. With his hair neatly tucked back into a ponytail – and dressed in the all-white Margiela lab coat, of course – Galliano took his bow: