Remembrance is altered by time. When data is transmitted from one mind to another –one era to the next – the truth is belied. Through Maison Margiela’s reflections on the digital age, the Défilé co-ed collection for Spring-Summer 2020 pays reverence to history and the lessons it taught us. In the digital age, our memories are hacked: distorted and trivialised through the chaotic noise of the social media debris. The mind becomes a search engine filtering through the latest impression, while wisdom gained from the past gradually gets buried in the news. Stories of hope, heroines and liberation are forgotten as history draws ever closer to repetition.
Detecting a need for mindfulness, creative director John Galliano prompts a wake-up call, challenging the senses to discern between memory and oblivion; real and unreal. Informed by ideas conceived in the Artisanal ateliers, the collection proposes key pieces rooted in conversations between the past, present and future. Tailoring rendered in the hack print – a motif resembling the accidental slip of a print machine – manifests as heavy tweeds or herringbones from the classic men’s wardrobe. In reality, they are trompe l’oeil prints uncovered by the white ‘hack’ element through which the fabric’s true identity is revealed. The illusion nods at the Artisanal theme of projection. Here, projective filtrage – the impression of light-projected imagery adapted into prints on translucent fabrics – translates into trench coats veiled in printed organza, triggering a sense-obscuring confusion of layers and light.
In a make-do and mend proposal of upcycling, holes – hand-cut or industrialised – riddle coats and dresses. Employing the technique of nomadic cutting, garments magnify and migrate on the body, in supersized trousers morphed into a strapless dress, or a leather trench coat cut into a corset. Elements from uniforms generate memories and associations of comfort: utility jackets appear in transformative form, while knitted vests and jumpers accentuate a co-educational sentiment. Short all-in-ones mutated with Watteau backs recall the eveningwear of a time when glamour, lest we forget, was often tantamount to hope.
Fabrics evoke the textures of the classic men’s wardrobe but are not always what they seem: light cottons and wools appear printed in the optical illusions of tweeds and herringbones, while traditional trench coats are swathed in printed organza. Indications of upcycling materialise in a Glam Slam coat with mattress lining, in a faux leather utility jacket, as well as faux reptile effects that conjure ideas of technology packaging. Tailoring wools are contrasted by materials from noble dressmaking: crin and satin are employed in suits, and taffeta and duchesse satin appear in all- in-ones with Watteau backs. Knitwear features in vests.
Employed in tailoring, the trompe l’oeil hack print makes light cotton or wool resemble the textures of fabrics from the classic men’s wardrobe such as tweeds or herringbones, only to interrupt the mirage with a slip-style white ‘hack’ revealing the true nature of the fabric. Projective filtrage features in coloured trench coats veiled in printed organza that confuses the senses. Holes form a predominant motif, either hand-cut or industrialised, nodding at a contemporary idea of polka dots and a proposal for upcycling. Techniques from haute couture are used in the fusion of all-in-ones with Watteau backs native to high dressmaking. Nomadic cutting signifies the migration of a garment from one part of the body to another such as trousers that become a dress, while flat-cutting appears in jackets that look one-dimensional until worn.
Colours inherent to the humble men’s wardrobe – black, brown, navy, white, beige and grey – are joined by those known from uniforms: olive, moss green and bordeaux. They are elevated by noble colours associated with haute couture and eveningwear, from seafoam to ochre and cinnamon.
Introduced in the Artisanal collection, the Snatched – a new genderless bag by Maison Margiela – debuts in a smaller volume. Taking its name from contemporary slang for good looks, the fold-over pochette features cut asymmetric angles and a handle through which the hand snatches on to it. The bag appears in red patent bridle leather and white calfskin. The 5AC, a Maison Margiela classic, enters into the collection in faux crocodile tan leather. Knee-high boots with curved heels – in black or brown patent leather or white-painted faux python – build on those from the Artisanal collection alongside Mary-Janes in black, brown or white patent leather. Sailor collars upcycled from blankets feature as scarves, while hats pay homage to millinery native to haute couture.
Wed, October 2 2019 » Fashion Blog
‘Défilé’ Co-ed Collection
Degeneration is a decadent process through which an entity is reduced to its purest core. At Maison Margiela, collections are composed through a pyramidical structure where ideas developed in the Artisanal ateliers filter into consolidated form. For the Autumn/Winter 2019 Défilé co-ed collection, creative director John Galliano induces the digital decadence identified in the recent Artisanal show and proposes a purified sense of restraint. From one collection to the other, this image of degeneration is demonstrated through the reduction of garments themselves.
The overstimulation created by a computer-generated culture of artifice alters reality and confuses fabrication for truth. With cyclical centennial timing, a new era of decadence sets in: excess inevitably followed by decay. Oversaturated by impressions, the millennial generations native to life in cyberspace begin to search for authenticity. Through the evolved language established at Maison Margiela, John Galliano employs decadent cutting to reduce familiar garments to their most authentic form – their core, their silhouette, their proportion – retaining only the memory of what once was.
Appropriating the inappropriate, traditional wardrobe staples fragmentise and migrate to new areas of the body. A flannel coat transforms into a dress, an equestrian trouser mutates into a bustier with a skirt, and a faux leather trench coat morphs into shorts with decortiqué hems. Trousers cut open and flattened become skirts, dresses or capes, their voids filled in with fabric. Flat cutting appears in jackets and dresses brought to life in strategic cuts from which three- dimensional shapes are raised and back-panelled in contrasting lining.
Through degeneration, conventionally gender-specific garments become truly genderless, heralding the combinaison: a top and bottom in one. Excess rears its head in the decadent symbol of pink flamingos, illustrated in the flamingo sequence print fabricated entirely from computerised textures and forms. Exercised in the juxtaposing panels of black or grey outerwear, its sensory overload highlights the contrast between overflow and degeneration. Through this inverted excess, Maison Margiela proposes a new idea of purity.
The idea of degenerating garments down to their purest core embraces the use of humble fabrics from the classic men’s wardrobe. Here, herringbone, flannel, equestrian and cavalry twills, Harris tweed, felt and coats created in collaboration with Mackintosh represent a feeling of authenticity. Wadding overlaid with chiffon, in outerwear evoking Maison Margiela’s Glam Slam bag, links to the idea of nomadic glamour. The honest character of these materials is contrasted by the over-satiation of a flamingo sequence motif made up of pink flamingos and artificial textures and structures, woven in jacquard as well as printed on nylon. Echoing a sense of excess, embroideries composed of beads, pearls and sequins adorn lace, a glamorous element reflected in plume trims. Organza features in overlay on chunky knitwear and cotton poplin shirting. Next to elements of chiffon, duchesse and tulle, it cements the Maison Margiela codes of unconscious glamour and reverse dressing.
The decadent cutting first proposed in the Spring/Summer 2019 Artisanal collection informs techniques. As classic garments are deconstructed, their components migrate on the body: a trouser becomes a cape, a coat morphs into a short, another coat transforms into a halter-neck dress. Employing the Maison Margiela code of shadow play, one garment is evoked within another through stitching or the placement of components associated with other parts of the body. In flat-cut jackets and skirts, strategic cuts form three-dimensional shapes raised and back-panelled in contrasting lining. Capitonnage jackets – one bonded to bias-cut chiffon – bring to mind Maison Margiela’s signature Glam Slam bag. Reflecting the artisanal vocabulary established by John Galliano at the house, techniques such as decortiqué, unconscious glamour, reverse dressing, dressing in haste, anonymity of the lining, nomadic cutting and the memory of garments are intrinsic parts of the collection’s genetics. Keeping in line with the gender-nonconformist philosophy of the house, every look was fitted without attention to gender.
The palette sees a contrast between excess and degeneration. A multi-coloured sequence motif features bright pink flamingos among a sea of oversaturated hues. It is juxtaposed by the authenticity and purity of blacks, greys and ivory.
Jewellery draws on the futuristic language of cyberspace in silver-plated palladium display rings and cuffs worn on gloves featuring the flamingo sequence motif. Echoing those codes, necklaces and ear cuffs constructed in the image of flattened bicycle chains also draw on the image of inverse excess. Detached collars in flamingo sequence printed neoprene with clear material detailing appear inverted. Mary Janes draw on the unnerving idea of magnified doll shoes introduced in the Artisanal collection, and appear in rubber, leather and patent leather. The Louis 22, a square- toe heeled boot in flamingo sequence print satin, nods at the shoes of Louis XIV and further takes its name from Maison Margiela’s numeric code for shoes. Finally, a round-toe heeled boot features in leather. Alongside the Glam Slam and the NDN, the collection launches a new take on the existing 5AC bag in a fabric that reacts to UV rays and changes colour accordingly.
Wed, March 6 2019 » Fashion Blog
Mon, July 16 2018 » Fashion Blog
Maison Margiela© Copyright 2018
‘Artisanal’ Men’s Collection
Reassessing the future of dressmaking in the men’s wardrobe, Maison Margiela presents its first full Artisanal menswear collection. The show signifies an unrestricted foray onto the territory of haute couture for men in a conversation with a new masculinity in motion. Opening the doors to the deft skills of creative director John Galliano and the 163 rue Saint-Maur ateliers, the presentation is staged as the house works in view. The collection is exclusively bespoke and will inform a men’s ready-to-wear line to be included in a co-ed Spring – Summer 2019 Défilé show in September.
Reflecting on the streetwear culture of the current menswear climate, John Galliano exercises his pyramidical approach to creation through an exploration of new values. It is an appreciation of the current evolution of male dress codes, and the desire to take it to unexplored places of craftsmanship for a young generation. The bias-cut – a technique native to the creative language of John Galliano – transforms traditional bespoke tailoring into a mercurial and hyper-modern take on suit-making. Executed in silks and tweeds, bias-cutting generates a harmonious exchange between fabric and body, expressed in a louche and liberating silhouette for an advancing male dress sense.
The intricacy, techniques and time inherent to haute couture are applied to traditional ideas of male dress in a transcendence of gender-specific uniforms. It is the experimental proposal of a reimagined sexuality, sensuality and individuality for a new mentality. Rooted in authenticity, garments informed by the wardrobes of formalwear and leisure pursuits undergo a process of repurposing. Original kimonos – some from the eighteenth century – are reconditioned into garments for the contemporary wardrobe. Corsetry, cape cuts in outerwear, and hand-embroidery in surface decoration nod at classic couture codes, whereas rubber and leather moulding reflect a less traditional approach to craftsmanship.
The Artisanal show is embedded in expert dressmaking and a new consideration of the tradition of haute couture. Drawing on terminology established in recent Artisanal proposals, notions of relaxed glamour, dressing in haste, appropriating the inappropriate, and dressing in reverse underpin the collection. House techniques such as anonymity of the lining, the memory of, and décortiqué, materialise throughout, honouring and honing the Artisanal identity of Maison Margiela.
‘Through the potential of Artisanal possibilities, conventional dress codes are broken down in a discovery of diverse individualities for a new age of self-expression.’ – Maison Margiela.
Authentic fabrications known from classic tailoring and haute couture form the foundation for the collection. Satin-back crêpe and tweed serve as canvases for bias-cutting in tailoring, while wool, twill and leather enter into outerwear. Drawing on the bespoke women’s wardrobe, textiles such as boucle, organza, chiffon, silk, jacquard and fine knit amplify the Artisanal volume, alongside the inevitable couture element of plume. They are contrasted by bold materials in the shape of vinyl, rubber, patent leather, and plastic. Original and antique kimonos are recycled and repurposed into new incarnations, bonded to their own lining.
The technique through which creative director John Galliano has historically expressed himself, bias- cutting is explored in menswear for a languid and dynamic approach to tailoring. Contrary to cutting straight-of-grain, bias-cutting materialises when the material is cut at an angle, allowing the natural elasticity in the fabric to hit the bias. The result is a virile, unparalleled sense of movement and a feeling of non-constriction. Recycled kimonos are deconstructed thread by thread, bonded to their own lining and transformed into new garments. Outerwear is cut like capes, evoking an unmistakable haute couture shape. Outdoor wardrobe staples are shrunken and transformed into shirts. Plume is encased in painted plastic. Hand-embroidery and hand-beading further cement the Artisanal prowess of the collection. Employing recently established house techniques, décortiqué appears when a garment or accessory is reduced to its structural core, while anonymity of the lining signifies the revelation of garment constructions traditionally concealed. The memory of illustrates the impression of a familiar motif in a garment. Dressing in haste is evoked by the gesticular encasing of outfits in fine silk knit tops, and dressing in reverse is the repurposing of garment layers traditionally assigned a certain function.
Black, white and off-white set the authentic tones for the collection. They come alive alongside red, pink and turquoise, backed up by motifs from kimonos and leopard, as well as vintage and animated prints. Finally, gold and silver serve as a manifestation of the high dressmaking embodied by the Artisanal collection.
The techniques of haute couture inform hand-worked jewellery constructed from hand-made materials. Custom designed embroideries are created in a meeting between leisure pursuits and techno. Painstaking beadwork such as ladylike pearl necklaces, also native to haute couture, are embellished with blood drops made of tiny beads and resin paint. A décortiqué hat evokes codes from the hunting wardrobe, while high-shine leather belts with sportswear clasps echo an idea of the staple accessory. Launched last year, the Glam Slam bag appears colour-coded to the collection. Formal men’s shoes, Santiago boots and Tabi boots feature in décortiqué editions. The Artisanal men’s trainer makes its debut, in rubber, hand-embroidery and recycled original kimono fabric.
Tue, July 3 2018 » Fashion Blog
Maison Margiela propels its vision forward to an innate new language and wardrobe based on the vocabulary established through the Artisanal collection. Dressing in reverse is an idea as subversive as relaxed glamour: a trench coat worn casually under a dress, a jumper thrown over a blazer, or the glimpse of a fisherman’s knit under a transparent skirt. For Autumn – Winter 2018, creative director John Galliano examines the inverted wardrobe established at Maison Margiela.
The silhouettes of Haute Couture are clarified in garments realized in sculpturally magnified volumes. Outerwear transforms into dresses when dressing in haste. It’s a nylon coat worn under a décortiqué leather jacket, or a deconstructed salopette layered over a trench coat. Seducing the eye, illusionary materials create memories of the familiar.
A transparent hologram coat encasing multi-coloured layers of viscose fringing, tulle and organza evokes the codes of rodeo. A grey melange décortiqué jacket is encrusted with the memory of an Aran knit cast in rubber. Fusions of authentic wardrobe staples appropriate the inappropriate. It’s illustrated in the bonding of a herringbone blazer with a fisherman’s knit, or in a twill skirt embossed with the memory of a rodeo skirt. In a play between layers, transparency and reflection, garments become transformative and generate a sense of unconscious glamour.
Drawing on the Artisanal collection, holographic and transparent materials take centre stage. Iridescent foil, nylon, reflective flash-sensitive fabric and changeant react to light and movement, effectively shape-shifting on the body. Layered under poly-urethane, tulles and organza liquefy into three-dimensional forms encouraged by the texture of viscose fringing. The effect is echoed in the use of chiffon, voile and georgette. Heritage materials sourced from the men’s wardrobe – herringbone, cavalry twill, gabardine, wool of Aran knits – counter the collection’s technical character and instil a sense of authenticity. Leather appears in outerwear such as cabans and fringed décortiqué rodeo jackets.
Notions of relaxed glamour and dressing backwards inform cuts and silhouettes. The hybridisation of classic wardrobe staples calls for bonding and embroidery, employed throughout the collection such as in the fusion of knitwear with tailoring. Outerwear encases layers of materials to create new images through depth. Moulded rubber bears the recollection of knitwear, while formage – the three-dimensional embossing of twill – creates the imprinted memory of rodeo pieces.
Prints of similar motifs appear in multiple colours on transparent fabric layered to create a transformative filtrage. Cementing a house code, décortiqué – the reduction of a garment to its core – is exercised in outerwear similarly alluding to the memory of traditional items of clothing.
Heritage tones from the humble men’s wardrobe such as charcoal, beige, melange, off-white and black are offset by the boldness of security yellow, Klein blue and fuchsia. Greens and royal purple further add to a Technicolor palette nodding to the iridescence of the technical materials used in the collection.
Inspired by the way in which contemporary tech gadgets serve as extensions of the body, jewellery takes on a prosthetic feel. Ear cuffs and tube rings in rubber and hand cuffs in rubber or chrome-plated brass follow the contours of the body, while diamonté brooches and earrings embellish the anatomy like growing organisms. Nodding to the idea of jewellery display cards, brooches are mounted on acetate boards. Chain belts in brass or rubber-coated metal link to rodeo.
Introduced in the Artisanal collection, the Margiela sneaker features in high-top and low-top editions, while the cloud-like Glam Slam bag appears in a new iridescent form.
Thu, March 1 2018 » Fashion Blog
Synergy happens when several codes are unified in one new language. In his first menswear collection at Maison Margiela, creative director John Galliano joins together classic symbols of the men’s wardrobe by applying past and present house ideas into one forward proposal for a new glamour. An overcoat is hacked up into a jacket, a trench coat is spliced with a formal coat, while others are reduced to their core using the décortiqué technique.
The concept of dressing in haste, established in the Artisanal line, is at the core of the Fall Winter 2018 collection informing cuts. Humble menswear staples such as the greatcoat, the nylon sports jacket and the cable knit are re- positioned and collaged with sartorial heritage tailoring. Appropriating the inappropriate, an Aran knit cardigan appears in all-rubber. A navy bomber is flocked with shadow effects that imitate wear.
Introducing Artisanal pieces to the Maison’s menswear, a relaxed suit is cut on the bias, an innovative first for sartorial dressing. The show is presented on the backdrop of a synergistic glyph, a new symbol imbued with a positive message for the house and echoed in the décortiqué back of a Mackintosh coat. Known as the SMS, the Security Margiela Sneaker makes its debut alongside heeled men’s Tabi boots and menswear interpretations of the recently launched Glam Slam bag.
‘New comprehensions of glamour are the modern-day synergy of dressing; desires that bind us together across identities and wardrobes.’ – Maison Margiela
Fabrics native to the men’s wardrobe such as Harris Tweed, herringbone, flannel and a wealth of wools are contrasted by the artificial nature of rubber and poly-urethane. Polyester gabardine and nylon nod at sportswear while leathers and knitwear draw on menswear classics.
Tailoring takes centre stage, from sartorial 1940s silhouettes and military cutting to rare and mercurial bias-cutting using properties from the Artisanal line. Transforming traditional tailoring, staples from the men’s wardrobe are spliced or hacked up for new expressions. Maison Margiela’s term for cutting up a garment to its frame, the technique of décortiqué is applied to coats and knits. Rubber is moulded to imitate knitwear. Flocking simulates shadow play, while pigment print adds painted-over effects.
Drawing on the traditional men’s and military wardrobes, black, navy, charcoal and melange grey set the tone for the collection. The muted colours are interrupted by Klein blue, red, bright yellow and orange, hinting at the palette of sportswear. The presence of white cements the Maison Margiela signature.
Rooted in heirloom jewellery, rhinestone chokers and military buttons worn as brooches correspond with the memory of medals, cast from rubber moulds. Bracelets and belts are graphically coloured in leather, foiled leather and transparent PVC. Chains appear as belt and necklaces, while one necklace carries a cravat as medal. The collection introduces the SMS, the Security Margiela Sneaker: a steel- toe-capped trainer with a vibram sole, in white, black, red, yellow and blue. The puffa slipper is constructed in waterproof cordura nylon with a crêpe gum sole, while décortiqué cowboy boots and the Tabi – flat or with a six-centimetre heel – underline house codes.
Tue, February 13 2018 » Fashion Blog
A pyramid of ideas informs the Défilé collection in a stream of consciousness from the Artisanal universe, as Maison Margiela explores a curious alignment of elegance and modernity. Spring Summer 2017 settles upon the merging vocabularies of archetypal, sports, and historical references: extracting the spectacular from the mundane for a triumphant reinvention of heritage.
A pivotal collection emerges through the house vocabulary defined by Creative Director John Galliano, with a dynamic sense of unconscious glamour. A cross-pollination of codes draws the eye to focus in desire and delight.
“The mission of Maison Margiela is to reject convention, and our evolving proposition stimulates nostalgia and innovation in equal parts. We believe that familiarity must be unsettled and spontaneous, with an intrinsic strangeness.” – Maison Margiela
It is only through an encyclopaedic knowledge of textiles that their innate properties may be subverted into new forms. Applied as such, sports mesh is ruched into flouncing blouse shoulders, or ripstop nylon embroidered as ribbons on fluorescent lace. Industrial vulcanized cotton finds new softness as a trench coat in palest celadon green, whilst bouclé mohair and wetsuit neoprene are fused with crochet. Tattersall checked cotton, striped poplin, classic gabardine and wool gauze are interrupted by the omnipresent metaphor of the lining in tessel- lated bird print nylon.
Everyday garments take on new lives when their archetypal structures are questioned and transformed by new compositions and finishes. Here the ‘anonymity’ of the lining emerges anew: the collar of a suspended trench dress falls as a new empire line, cabans are dissected down the lapel to expose wading, and a sports mesh smock sweeps into a Watteau-back. The toggled elastic, safety buckles, and drawstrings of a hiker’s backpack cinch the body in technical tops and dresses for a play of ruched volume. Moments of graphic embellishment arrive as fractured mirror effect embroidery, braided rubber balloon trims, ‘propaganda’ screen-prints, and po- etic cotton needlepoint on silk or velvet.
Both upending and conforming to the colour signifiers of a traditional garment, the colour card defies expecta- tion. Within a single garment, traditional grey men’s wear checks, taupe outerwear, and hi-vis sports hues are paired with eccentric touches of neon-tone knitwear, jewel-toned metallic leather or sheer organza, and bright raincoat yellow cotton.
The signature 5AC bag returns in a multitude of original treatments and finishes, from nylon and leather quilting to braided saddlery details, and silver mirror leather burnished with a neon edge. A new saddle bag rethinks the leather satchel in unique oval proportions, featuring a multi-functional strap system that is worn as a handbag, shoulder bag, and backpack. Mykita x Maison Margiela sunglasses are embedded with chandelier crystals, a technique replicated in transparent arm cuffs, collars, and wire halo earrings. The scuba tabi boot features a moulded rubber sole, and an ornate jacquard upper strapped in Velcro.
Wed, October 5 2016 » Fashion Blog
In evoking a calculated imperfection, the individual emerges.
Maison Margiela proposes a new alignment and the evolving fil rouge of the ‘Artisanal’ collection. Whispered to life, garments question ideas of conformity, and the élan of the individual rises to the fore.
Innocence is celebrated, articulating a new standard of beauty. An ephemeral muse returns, her power reactionary and sensitive. Personalities shine in characters mingled through a sepia lens.
Transformation is vital; spontaneous, cathartic gestures meet studied craft for an attenuated silhouette and its immediate release. The twin lives of a garment are the key to its nonchalance, just as day fades into night.
Such musings disregard the dated concerns of what to wear, and when. Tailoring and flou find new proportions, both charming and askew.
Just as fabrics are imbued with memory and emotion, their allure serves new context across the articulated body. At times, they reference themselves; elsewhere they allude to a deeper metafiction.
Decoration follows suit: naive flowers and feathers subvert the bourgeoisie through a muted joie-de-vivre. At once diffused and saturated, their colours allude to a warm sense, a fashion lo-fi: like polaroids inflected with acid dreams.
Tue, June 23 2015 » Fashion Blog
Maison Margiela © Copyright 2015
Style takes shape at the end of the night. The look is mixed, improvised, lost in a timeless dissonance. A nostalgic energy seeking an as yet undiscovered elegance. Excessive and minimal, electric and calm.
The garment is altered: linings come outwards, stitching and collars remain unfinished, chaotic proportions blend with unrelated colours, mutating jewellery. Fabrics and shapes melt against 1970’s backgrounds. The feel is eerie, nostalgic, contemporary.
Classic notions of elegance, when pushed to their limits change, become an oddity, where spontaneity transforms trial and error into final chapters.
Within this cacophony, individual pieces emerge from what was once whole. Disconnected, disorderly, inspired. Democratic.
Wed, February 18 2015 » Fashion Blog