Maison Margiela: Ready-To-Wear SS24

Continuing to chronicle the whirlwind romance of star-crossed runaway lovers Count and Hen, John Galliano’s Maison Margiela was electrifying. Foreshadowing the show, a film depicting a transatlantic ship on its passage to America appeared, accommodating an adolescent meeting between the parents of Count (the son of an impoverished aristocratic line) and Hen (the daughter of an industrial family of pretence).  

Founding the collection in the voyage’s austere climate and its disparate characters whose travelling trunks of clothes will ultimately end up in the “adaptive hands of their future descendants”, as well as a playful unravelling of traditional men’s and womenswear, Galliano let their story come to light. The designer staged “a search for individual truth reflected in the generational adaptation of an inherited wardrobe”. What came prowling down the runway was non-binary bliss, generational rapture. A lot of it was steeped in the age-old traditions of Parisian couture, but those looks employed ‘exfoliage’, stripping away superficial layers to reveal the skeletal construction of a garment. Honing in on the spirit of adaptation, Galliano infused misfit evening silhouettes with shiny fragments of bows, tape or work-in-progress stitching – bonnet-style hats, for example, were made from jagged grey plastic and wire. Another technique called ‘pressage’ laminated hacked-up midcentury dresses and shirts with creases as if flattened by a suitcase. Everything was paired with faded Tabi stilettos, brogues and spectator shoes.

To the sound of Lucky Love’s ‘Masculinity’, which asked onlookers: “Do I walk like a boy?/ Do I speak like a boy?/ Do I kiss like a boy?/ Do I spit like a boy?”, some models skulked slowly, contorting their bodies into almost uncomfortably slouched stances as part of the haughty, haute couture drama. Others quickened their pace, stomping with their necks at a stark angle like a predator going in for the kill. It was full-blown, curated chaos. 

Photography courtesy of Maison Margiela.

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