At Margiela, John Galliano Proves He Is the Oz of Trend Storytelling
Lead PictureCourtesy of Maison Margiela
John Galliano has at all times been obsessive about fantasy, with course of, with exhibiting his workings. In a way, it’s the alternative of the nice and highly effective Wizard of Oz, extolling us to pay no consideration to the person backstage. Galliano is each backstage, and its puller-upper, revealing his personal methodologies in plain sight with gleeful pleasure, realising that solely makes the magic much more highly effective. The Wizard of Oz reference wasn’t coincidental, by the best way: there have been ruby slippers aplenty in Galliano’s Autumn/Winter 2022 Maison Margiela presentation, loaded talismans of the urge to move and to rework, each of which Galliano did repeatedly.
The set-up is hard to clarify: basically, in a theatre house at Paris’ Palais de Chaillot, we witnessed the dwell creation of a movement image, projected overhead. And all of the trickery and smoke and mirrors of Hollywood have been pulled aside earlier than our eyes, brown-coated stage-hands swirling props and filming crops in a tightly-choreographed dance that might have been a present all its personal. However of their midst have been fashions, appearing as actors, mouthing alongside to pre-recorded traces and emoting like silent display screen heroes and heroines, to inform a fever dream of a Tennessee Williams-ish tall story of a pair of star-crossed lovers. There was matricide, and patricide, and a highschool dance someplace within the center. There was a bevy of supermodel nurses like a midcentury Vogue editorial, a swaying cornfield conjured by sheaves of wheat nailed to a plank of wooden, a change sooner or later right into a spaghetti western, and a Capote-ean heroine in a pale kimono extolling her love of Charles James. Up on the screens, a film was seamlessly created in real-time, jump-cuts, huge panoramas and tight close-ups all evoked by means of these low-fi props – a metaphor, if ever there was one, for the magic vogue can create by means of humble needle and thread. Oh, and talking of, throughout have been among the most creative, ingenious and certainly magical garments we’ve seen for eons. It was a head-rush.
Throughout his total profession, Galliano has couched his collections in narratives – his commencement assortment was impressed by Les Incroyables, dandies of the French Revolution, “ripping down aristocratic curtains, and turning them into waistcoats.” These tales solely spun ever-more complicated webs of narratives, taking in Russian processes fleeing by means of forests, Freudian households exploring their sexual secrets and techniques, and collections as biopics of Empress Sisi or the Marchesa Casati. Each component of each story evokes an aesthetic method, a visible language imbued with which means – colors reworked by the very fact of his heroines residing by candle or gaslight, material therapies decided by the affect of imaginary locales round, a heady mixture of eras and inspirations – nothing ever exactly traditionally anchored, to permit his febrile mind draw it proper again into the up to date.
Galliano is the nice and highly effective Oz of vogue storytelling, however by no means earlier than has his narrative been so full, nor so sublimely communicated to his viewers, as on this Margiela presentation. Typically, these tales are a backstage shenanigan, one thing inspiring the goals behind the garments, somewhat than animating their motion earlier than our eyes. It’s a mark of his genius that, in sending his garments whirring by means of every intricately-realised mise-en-scène, Galliano solely added to their affect somewhat than distracting. Our eyes have been riveted on these garments – on flounced tulle sprayed with sand as if thrown up on a dusty freeway (in precise reality, an intricate jacquard), constructed from Nineteenth-century mattress linens or classic handkerchiefs, promenade clothes of duchesse satin and stiff nylon crin, and couture nurse’s scrubs in hospital greens. Their intricacy and ingenuity makes them unimaginable to explain intimately, however this assortment was grounded in Americana, so there have been hints of Presley – Elvis and Priscilla – in fit-and-flare Fifties robes and pastel-coloured tuxedos, every Laduree shade of yellow, pale blue, lilac or pink marking a reduce that was totally distinctive, which is the true story of couture, in any case.
I’ve, actually, little or no thought of what was occurring; the story was a Möbius loop, turning again on itself, repeating, figures leaping between actuality and dreamlike sequences as beautiful, nonsensical excuses for extra unbelievable garments. Galliano’s love of narrative has by no means included accuracy, geographic or historic – keep in mind him sending a steam practice full of matadors and cavaliers and Linda Evangelista dragged-up as Henry VIII on an unimaginable voyage to Sixteenth-century America? This Margiela tour was simply as whacky. And but what we come again with, from all of those journeys, is a renewed sense of hope in and love for vogue. Galliano’s palpable pleasure for creation is infectious – at his finest, he can’t be overwhelmed. And this was Galliano reaching a artistic zenith, as soon as once more. “I’ve by no means seen something like that,” stated one onlooker as we exited the theatre. I’d say we’ll by no means see something prefer it once more – however Galliano will probably be right here subsequent season. He’s on masterful type, and his solely competitors, it appears, is himself.