Maison Margiela celebrates youth and vibrant fashion at Paris Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week continues to offer plenty of pleasant surprises, like the energetic, inventive creations unveiled by John Galliano for Maison Margiela on Monday. For the Spring/Summer 2022, the Parisian label’s creative director is advocating a renewed connection with nature, a concept that is less simple than it appears at first glance, especially when envisioning “the desires of a new, utopian youth in this time of emergency.”
The video presenting the label’s new ‘Co-Ed’ collection (the name of Margiela’s ready-to-wear line, while the couture line is called ‘Artisanal’), has been conceived by Galliano and directed by Olivier Dahan (of ‘La Vie en Rose’ and ‘Grace of Monaco’ fame), who had previously produced and directed Margiela’s couture collection’s video. The film consists of a sequence of syncopated scenes featuring surrealistic images, music and tableaux, the backdrop a set with a make-believe feel, made with recycled materials.
Galliano drew his inspiration from the world of fishing, cue the miniature sail boats etched on some garments’ buttons. His playful looks feature hooded headdresses and cotton fisherman hats, bucket-shaped handbags, and tops and mini shorts in frayed denim worn with colourful, huge angler-style wellies. Notably, a pair of split-toe boots in recycled rubber in the same bright primary colours. The fishing theme is also evident in the high-waisted dungarees with oversize braces, and the generously proportioned cape to ward off bad weather.
Galliano infuses fresh zest into all his designs. He notably uses Margiela’s new ‘essorage’ technology, a series of enzyme-based treatments and washes that give the garments the impression of being time-worn.
Galliano has fun deconstructing a loden coat, or enhancing another with denim panels. Colourful tulle inserts in yellow, blue and red, sometimes decorated with multi-coloured feathers, are layered with a filter effect on a herringbone coat, on woollen skirts and white suits. A blanket thrown across the shoulders envelops the body like a cape. Kitchen towels are used to line overcoats, or are tied like scarves around the models’ necks.
The tail end of the show features several more lavish looks, in which the young models turn into knights, in a metaphor of today's youth, faced with an increasingly complicated world. Between rising mists, flooding and nocturnal escapades, the video seems plunged in constant chaos.
Will they manage to save the planet? With the materials at hand, the models are giving it their best shot, full of optimism and energy in their imposing black knee-high boots. Even though the crowns some of them are wearing are made of cardboard. Some sport a single, thick black studded glove, like a falconer’s, but their knights’ helmets are transparent, made with simple bits of plastic.
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