Nomadic Glamour for Maison Margiela at Haute Couture AW18

"We're all nomads today, and we're attached to our iPhones and our iPads, they're everything and we move in these tribes...I came up with this term, "neo-digtal natives," and this is a further exploration into that."

After debuting his first ever Artisanal menswear collection for the Maison two weeks ago during Paris Fashion Week Men's, on Wednesday, John Galliano presented his latest offering in Haute Couture. "The AW18 collection was my interpretation of nomads," John Galliano explained over his podcast "The Memory Of..." moments before the show took place - it is his latest formula for communicating his ideas for the current season. He went onto explain that his high-concept Artisanal collections for Maison Margiela represents "the raw, raw, undiluted essence, the parfum," of the house.

It's that "memory of" aspect that Galliano has been incredibly focused on the past few seasons for Margiela, cast your mind back to his SS18 Artisanal collection, that coat in Harris Tweed with a memory-of-a-trench-coat print. Also, like in past Margiela collections, the working methods and inner constructions of Haute Couture were exposed - revealing interfacings and the intricate stitching that goes into a male tailored jacket. This time a coral foam skirt was cut into the motif of a jacket, and Galliano went that step further by having Katerina Jebb's x-ray print photographs of garments, superimposed on other garments. Remember the poster vest from 2009? How Martin Margiela of him. Clothes were also worn back-to-front and at times twisted. "We've posed a new glamour, an unconscious glamour, which takes inspiration from the way we dress in haste, 'reverse-dressing, which is a new house cod,'" John explained. "This show could be the last chapter in my exploration into glamour, who knows? We'll see."

"Volume - that's what pushes fashion forward isn't it? If we don't play with volumes, however subtle or otherwise you are, it's the volumes that make the difference." This translated into huge oversized and layered looks consisting of heavy coats lined with what seemed like insulation materials, wide skirts made from quilted bin-liners, pin-tucked tulle pieces resembled corrugated cardboard stamped with the words "Fragile." This is were it gets a little complicated, one look consisted of a quilted trench puffa coat worn over the front panels of a blue nylon puffa jacket, the front panels of a yellow quilted bin-liner puffa jacket, and a teal blue foam front with velcro seams attached to the back panel of a trench puffa jacket, worn underneath is a wool pea coat and an oversized black foam coat with seams attached to a khaki trench coat at the back. "It's a redefinition of how one wears layers," said Galliano. "It's protective but at the same time it's fragile, it's inviting. You want to touch it and squash it - it's very soft." All in an electrifying palette of 'techno sorbets.'

In a world saturated by social media, Galliano explained that he is always asking himself what "cool" means. He answers with another thought, "I can only work when I'm being authentic." If that isn't cool, then I don't know what is. Nevertheless, John Galliano is no longer a young designer, his graduate collection from St. Martins was over thirty-years ago. However, the man is a genius. Constantly inspired by the young assistants and interns that surround him at Margiela, (whom he has a much closer relationship with) and their dependance on technology, and riffing on the notion of carrying your world with you, Galliano added virtual reality headsets in vintage car metallics, set iPads into vast practical bags and iPhones were attached to ankles and forearms on industrial-looking contraptions. As the models (or as he dubbed them "neo-digital natives") walked down the runway, looking like some form of extraterrestrial life, their iPhones set to video record the front row. Like I said, John Galliano may no longer be young, but his collections for Maison Margiela are young and fresh, and packed full of creative ideas.

Images courtesy of NowFashion and Vogue Runway
The Wolf of High Street


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