For most people, 'back to basics' might mean strict minimalism. Not for John Galliano. In the designer’s vocabulary, back to basics can come in the form of embroidered Snapchat rainbow tongues, lace, marabou feathers and impressive tulle work.
Galliano’s latest effort for Maison Margiela Artisanal marked the end of his traditionally complex and theatrical narratives. Instead, he was simply basking in the pleasure of pure creative exploration. Which is not to say that there wasn’t a theme undergoing the collection: current events were his inspiration. Everything from social media overload to politics and protest influenced him (a departure from his sometimes overtly historicist work). And it was that sense of realism, interpreted through his fanciful lense, that rendered the collection one of his most brilliant for Maison Margiela to date.
There were tailored jackets and trademark bias-cut dresses, of course. But, on this occasion, they were distilled to their bare essence: dresses became supple cages and it was all about play between negative and positive spaces. Under his scissors, coats became shredded, jackets were nothing but a superposition of transparent tulles and chic was a distressed red throw (Chantilly lace peeking from underneath) entangled in a draped mini skirt. Towards the end, a long white trench coat with a black tulle-draped face made its appearance. An astonishingly artful execution on an oh-so-simple idea. Just like the whole collection.