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Maison Margiela AW17 dazed pfw
Maison Margiela AW17Photography Lillie Eiger

Meet John Galliano’s latest tribe of Margiela eccentrics

With string in their hair and handbags on their heads, the AW17 gang were both weird and wonderful

Believe it or not, but it’s been just over two years since John Galliano first made his debut for Margiela. In that time, he’s put his own stamp on the house, staging shows in pared-back sets but with clothes bursting with colour, life and energy. Here are the highlights from AW17.


No surprises there, but this season the idea was taken to extreme proportions. There were varsity jackets which were essentially stripped to a harness of sleeves, collar, and waistband, jackets which looked as if they had entire swathes of fabric missing, and a dress which mainly consisted of a strip of fabric around the waist, a hemline, and some straps to join it all together.


While some things (the totally masked models, for instance) seem to belong to another era of Margiela, Galliano remains faithful to the history of the house and its archive. There was white body paint, welly-ish takes on the famous tabi boot, blue jeans with missing pockets exposing the darker denim beneath, boxy-shouldered blazers and beige bodysuits – all nodding back to the past, but without feeling nostalgic. At a time when the original designs of the house are so explicitly referenced on the runway, it’s good to have a reminder that the decades-long history behind these clothes runs deep.


Of course, we know to expect a killer Pat McGrath beauty look on any Margiela catwalk (this time it included silver lips and graphic neon eyeshadow), but a couple of particularly show-stealing moments were thanks to the models who wore bags like hats, impressively making it to the end of the runway with them balanced atop their heads. Otherwise, gloves were covered in playful stickers and hair came accessorised with feathers or coloured string, matching that which trailed from looks – including one tapestry coat that seemed as if it had been doodled over with rainbow thread.  


Well, we weren’t expecting this. The show’s soundtrack was pop songwriter and breakout talent Julia Michaels’ soon-to-be hit “Issues”. With its “I got issues, you got ‘em too” refrain, the breathy, finger-snap backing track is an ode to dysfunction, and somehow provided the perfect backing to the collection. The girls were wearing bags on their heads, after all.