John Galliano is having a busy week. Hot off the heels of showing his first Margiela menswear collection last week, today he presented his latest Artisanal show at the Maison’s headquarters on Paris’s rue Saint-Maur. Here’s everything you need to know.
Since taking over the house in 2015, the majority of Galliano’s shows have taken place in optically white or stark, understated settings. This season marked a departure from that, as the Maison’s showroom was painted black from floor to ceiling – windows included. The only light was courtesy of some blue strip lights, and cushioned sculptures specially commissioned by artist Jessi Reaves filled the centre of the space.
GUESTS WERE TOLD TO USE THEIR CAMERA FLASHES
And as the first model power-walked out, it became clear why. Under the burst of light, fabric was transformed, revealing itself to have new holographic, iridescent qualities.
HOW DO YOU EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE THESE CLOTHES?
Wildly imaginative, technically masterful, violently beautiful – that’s a start. Galliano’s girls were like futuristic, otherworldly creatures whose colourful spaceship had crash landed in Paris from some distant planet. Their clothes had recognisable elements – there was sportswear, a neon fuchsia slip dress and a black suit, for instance – but all were transformed, pushed far beyond boundaries, norms, or expectations. Swathes of PVC wrapped limbs, trainers had hybrid plastic casings, and one windbreaker dress had a beaded skeleton of a skirt which stood away from the body.
THE MUSIC WASN’T AS FUTURISTIC AS THE COLLECTION
In stark contrast to the collection’s futuristic feel, the music was distinctly old school but remixed into a shudderingly loud track which warped and reverberated, with Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams”, Lana Del Rey’s cover of “Blue Velvet” and “Summer Wine” by Nancy Sinatra all making up the show’s soundtrack.
THE ACCESSORIES WERE AS OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD AS THE CLOTHING
The PVC swimming caps that featured prominently in last week’s menswear shows were back, only this time updated with the addition of diamanté ‘earrings’ that were stitched to their sides, while necklaces were formed from large acetate boards and a couple of the models carried iridescent PVC parasols. Hair was slicked down with shimmering paint, as if the models had just been caught in a hyper-galactic space storm – an element reflective of the collections weather-related undercurrent.