What John Galliano showed us was simply worthy of a brilliant turn-over. No more eccentricity, no more glamorous and glitters, but still a dramatic glimpse is given to the clothes. “He is back, he is back!” we heard muttering voices at the end of the show with a tone of relief.
Indeed the talent has not altered the newly fresh started designer. We thought John Galliano was not a minimalist, we thought of him more like a scenographer, an actor in his own play. He still surprises us after two years of absence. His unique sense of womanizing while creating real pieces of art is still unspoiled, and perhaps a bit brighter and cleaner.
For his first come-back collection at the head of the Artisanal collection at Maison Martin Margiela, John Galliano played with the codes of the house in his own way. The major change stands in the absence of masks which were key features with the former creative team.
The show focuses on the creative process of a dress which is fascinating Galliano (see the Dior couture show AW2005). On look number 8, we even have the stockman model which is represented with toile, many looks of the beginning are based on the theory of deconstructivism, like if the dresses were not finished yet. And this is genius: being able to show dresses which are customer-ready and still, we feel that something isn’t finished yet. This is the magic of couture where we can dare to present wearable artworks. The basis of Martin Margiela’s theory was part of a sustainable behavior, recycling and giving a second life (and what a life!) to used items. Galliano had to deal with that idea in order to be faithful to the spirit of the couture house. And to me, last look was perhaps the most representative of that philosophy. There is a sense of humor in that silhouette, like if it was some child who just gathered everything he needed to build up a dress, it’s very child-like look with the so-called mask, like if Galliano was laughing at his predecessors, trying to stand out.
But this collection is not really very united, there is a straight cut between the first 15 silhouettes and the final ones which are much more clean-cut, minimalistic and definitely more commercial.
I think after this long dark period, Galliano should try to go ahead and study the way he could combine his personal style – largely influenced by fifteen years passed at the head of creations of Dior – and the Margiela atmosphere. These 24 looks are a good beginning, and we must welcome him back in the world of fashion! Galliano has changed, and so has his conception of life. He took his bow, very simply like a modest and shy beginner. And we cried, realizing we were living a major shift in the history of fashion.