‘Défilé’ Co-ed Collection
Restoration signifies a return to worth: a re-awakening of traits and values evoking a collective sense of belonging within us. For the Autumn-Winter 2020 Défilé collection, Maison Margiela revives the dress codes of our shared societal conscience. Through the gestures and uniforms associated with the bourgeoisie, creative director John Galliano recycles familiar symbols of a mindful era, and upcycles them for a progressive new age. A study of the emotional make-up of our lived-in social identity, it is an illustration of the restorative power of heritage attributes and articles imbued with the soul of history; resonating the grammar of today.
Recicla is a new entry in the vocabulary of John Galliano at Maison Margiela. A portmanteau composed from terminology denoting reusability, the marque expands on the existing concept of Replica used to brand reproductions of vintage finds within the collections of the house. Items carrying the new white Recicla label – listing provenance and period – are genuine authentic pieces, handpicked by John Galliano, restored and re-appropriated as limited- edition garments or accessories, intended for sale. Recicla pieces integrate throughout the show, from coats cut into elongated collars to the splicing of several garments in poverina dresses. Recicla accessories include wicker bags, Snatched bags crafted from taro leaves, and 5AC bags upcycled from reclaimed luxury skins.
Informed by techniques developed for the Artisanal collection, elements associated with the bourgeois wardrobe appear alongside heritage uniforms invoking restorative sensibilities: dress codes exuding societally rooted emotions of familiarity, belonging and wellbeing. Recalling relatable values, instinctive bourgeois gestures are captured within garments: the blasé shrug of a jacket off the shoulder, the nonchalant drape of a scarf around the neck. They echo traces from the traditional bourgeois wardrobe – pussy-bow blouses, culottes, and Mary-Janes – while the invigorating pastimes of the bourgeoisie are emulated in uniforms native to hiking, sailing and exploring.
Through the technique of work-in-progress, the gestures of the dressmaker are freeze-framed within jackets and trousers. Here, the splicing of tailoring wools with calico – the humble material of toiles – conjures the acts of tailoring, the trademark of the classic gentleman. Fabric sequins, a scalloping method that reveals the contrast of linings in a lace-like effect, cut up the icons of the bourgeois wardrobe with progressive panache. The suspenseful colours of mid-century realism are evoked through an aquarelle filtrage created from translucent layers of fabric in bias-cut siren dresses.
Restorative reactions are triggered by materials nestled in associations of belonging. Wools, flannel, felt, knitwear, tweeds and trench cloth from the gentleman’s wardrobe are founded in the uniforms of bourgeois pastimes, echoing the bouclé, foulard, silks and velvet of that wardrobe’s female counterpart. Faux fur and faux crocodile nod at the seductive textures of luxury linked to the same lifestyle. Bourgeois gestures are captured within garments through tulle inserts. In work-in-progress pieces, tailoring wools are spliced with calico, the material used in toiles. Bias-cut dresses coloured through aquarelle filtrage are underpinned with layers of translucent crêpe de chine and chiffon. Re- and upcycled Recicla vintage garments appear in their respective original fabrics along with Recicla wicker bags and Recicla Snatched bags made from taro leaves, while Recicla 5AC bags have been created from the reclaimed skins of luxury overstocks.
Recicla, the new chapitre in the Maison Margiela lexicon, upcycles authentic vintage finds through restorative and transformative processes such as the hacking up of garments or the splicing of several garments into poverina dresses. Selected by John Galliano, each Recicla piece features a white label denoting its limited edition, provenance and period. Bourgeois gestures – our spontaneous shrugging, draping and clenching of clothes – are evoked within garments through cuts and tulle inserts. The work-in-progress technique freezes the acts of the tailor within sleeves and culottes by adapting calico into wool garments. In bias-cut dresses, aquarelle filtrage signifies the underpinning of translucent fabrics in different colours, which effectively blends colour within the garment. Developed as a hand-cut technique for the Artisanal collection, fabric sequins – the scalloping of fabric to create flickering holes that interact with the lining of a garment – are partly executed industrially for the Défilé collection. The house term for revealing a garment’s inside construction, anonymity of the lining appears across techniques and in outerwear folded into itself.
Informed by the bourgeois underpinnings of the collection, the colour comprehension of the American mid-century realist Edward Hopper renders a suspenseful and painterly palette inspired by the adaptability of natural and golden light and its contrasting shadows. It motivates the use of block colour as well as the observance of brown, a shade of heritage dressing revisited for a rebellious new age.
Hats are created by Maison Margiela. In the Artisanal show, biodegradable jewellery was made from fresh fruit and vegetables. Now, adapted for the Défilé collection, these creations solidify on handmade chains in 3D-printed pendants and brooches hand-painted to convey the naturalistic illusion of real fruit and vegetables. Recicla – upcycled vintage pieces – include Snatched bags created from taro leaves, wicker bags and 5AC bags made from reclaimed skins. The Tabi – Maison Margiela’s signature split-toed shoe – features as lace-up derbies, tasselled loafers, knee-high boots and Mary-Janes; all crafted in leather, some painted white. A collaboration between Maison Margiela and Reebok, the Tabi Instapump Fury – first launched in the Artisanal show – stages a dialogue between the Tabi and the Instapump Fury in one hybridised shoe, either flat or heeled, founded in the technology and language of today.