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Models at Margiela had iPhones clamped to their limbs

John Galliano explored the millennial obsession with tech, as part of an Artisanal collection that blurred the line between man and machine

Fresh from showing his first Maison Margiela Artisanal menswear collection last week, this morning John Galliano presented his womenswear vision for AW18. Taking place in the whitewashed halls of the maison’s headquarters in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, here’s everything you need to know.

THERE WAS A SERIES OF SCULPTURAL INSTALLATIONS

Where for the menswear show Galliano tasked artist Tony Matelli with creating a number of stone figures which were dotted around the venue, this time around he stripped things back slightly. Created by Dutch architect firm Anne Holtrop, tactile sheets of wood echoed the curves of the space’s existing pillars.

GALLIANO DESCRIBED THE COLLECTION IN TWO WORDS

‘Nomadic glamour’ – “The AW18 collection is my interpretation of nomads,” he explained in The Memory Of podcast that accompanied the show. “We’re all nomads today, and we’re attached to our iPhones and our iPads, they’re everything, and we move in these tribes... I came up with this term, ‘neo-digital natives’, and this is a further exploration into that.”

IPHONES AND IPADS WERE CLAMPED TO MODELS’ WRISTS AND ANKLES

...meaning there’s no chance of a digital detox if you’re planning on swathing yourself in Maison Margiela’s AW18 Couture collection in a few months (yes please). Where last season’s jewellery grew like prosthetics from the models’ bodies, now it’s evolved to hold on to our tech for us. One model even had a large screen attached to her back, which showed images of the the show itself (v meta), while some wore VR style headsets. The line between man and machine is basically non-existent in Galliano’s eyes.

THE COLLECTION WAS MADE UP OF LAYERS AND LAYERS OF GARMENTS

“Volumes – that’s what pushes fashion forward isn’t it? If we don’t play with volumes, however subtle or otherwise you are, it’s the volumes that make the difference,” explained Galliano in The Memory Of This translated into huge layered looks featuring heavy overcoats lined with what appeared to be insulation fabrics, wide skirts made from quilted bin liners, tulle pieces crafted to look like corrugated cardboard, and straitjacket-like styles bearing distorted X-ray prints that restricted the arms, all in a palette of ‘techno sorbets’. “It’s a redefinition of how one wears layers,” the designer said. “It’s protective but at the same time it’s fragile, it’s inviting. You want to touch it and squash it – it’s very soft.”

GALLIANO HINTED THIS MIGHT BE THE END OF A CHAPTER AT MARGIELA

...no, he’s not going anywhere. “We’ve posed a new glamour, an unconscious glamour, which takes inspiration from the way we dress in haste, ‘reverse-dressing, which is a new house code,” he explained. “This show could be the last chapter in my exploration of glamour, who knows? We’ll see.”

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