John Galliano returns to the runway
And gives the traditionally faceless house of Margiela a name
John Galliano ended his hiatus with a spectacular show for Maison Martin Margiela on the final day of London Collections: Men. It was his return to the runway after his unceremonious exit from Dior, in 2011. It was also his first artisanal (read couture) showing as Margiela’s freshly-minted creative director, and it warranted its own hashtag: #MargielaMonday.
Margiela and Galliano mined their shared history in androgynous tailoring and the grotesque. Encrusted masks, deconstructed bridal dresses and hoof heels – even the gory was rendered beautiful in his hands. It was a purging of sorts. Galliano was fired from Dior for a drunken anti-Semitic rant and he was here to remind that it was time to put that ugly episode behind him. This was closure. And his tribe of supporters – Christopher Bailey, Manolo Blahnik, Renzo Rosso, Kate Moss, Alber Elbaz, Nicola Formichetti – flocked the room to witness it.
Wearable denims and suits – a familiar sight at artisanal Margiela – were spotted again. But there were some firsts. Ever since Margiela left the house in 2009, the design team has remained anonymous, slipping into their lab coats and working silently behind the media glare. As with any uniform, there was a shared sense of equality in the lab coat. That changed last evening with Galliano emerging as the first among equals.