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John Whiles for Maison Margiela Artisanal AW15
John Whiles (Premium) for Maison Margiela Artisanal AW15Photography Virginie Khateeb

Galliano makes an androgynous statement with boys in couture

Gender fluidity meets haute couture as a trio of male models hit the runway at Maison Margiela

Anticipation was running high for John Galliano’s second Artisanal collection for Maison Margiela and naturally, he didn't disappoint. Fuzzy cellophane skirts, unfurled tapestry dresses, embroidered potato sack coats and a bride complete with a shrink-wrapped tentacle train made their way down the runway. But there was also something unexpected on the Couture Fashion Week catwalk – three guys: John Whiles, Roan Louch and Carl Hejm Sandqvist.

Like their female counterparts, the models wore dresses – Louch and Sandqvist with rose breastplates made of mirror and enamel, Whiles with a blue turban that match his lipstick. Louch has in fact modelled for Margiela before – in the house's resort lookbook – but for the other two, it was their debut.

It's not the first time haute couture models have strayed from the gender binary path. Trans trailblazer Andreja (then Andrej) Pejić and drag queen Conchita Wurst have both walked in Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture show (for SS11 and AW14 respectively). This show is another example of the fashion industry's rising favour for gender fluidity.

Stay tuned for a full report of Maison Margiela Artisanal AW15.