John Galliano Explores Decadence For Maison Margiela Haute Couture Spring 19

Missing from the Paris Fashion Week Men's schedule was John Galliano's Maison Margiela. His Spring 2019 Artisanal collection for the house would go on to provide an explanation - this was the very first Maison Margiela Co-ed artisanal show and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Once again, in his beautifully poetic and lyrical podcasts, he would further explain a new chapter for the brand, one that explores Decadence; citing art, film, literature and life as reference material.

In a week dedicated to luxury and glamour, few and far between for creativity and a culmination of new ideas, Maison Margiela is a bright shining light amongst them - a laboratory of experimentation and pure imagination. Galliano defines the "decadence" he was speaking about this season as "the excess, the artifice, the decay," he offers lot's of gestures and proposals at Margiela, ones he absolutely runs with. A friends of Galliano's suggested he read about the character of Jean des Esseintes in Joris-Karl Huysmans' 1984 novel A Rebours - agreeing that it was in fact decadent, but also at the fact that he himself is that and how he has never been referred to as a decadent designer. Perhaps hinting at the fact the late Isabella Blow used to wipe down her desk at Vogue magazine after work with Chanel no.5 or even himself spraying perfume on the streets outside his home before guests would arrive - exactly like how the character would spray his home. There was also reference to Baudelaire's idea of dreams becoming a reality and how this reflects today. How it impacts the lives of Generation Z in particular, who are living a fake lifestyle through the means of social media. "Were we are so overwhelmed with so much imagery that you almost want to regurgitate." Isn't all social media an alternative reality?

"That feeling of overconsumption, oversaturated, overstimulated, overindulgent was really inspiring, especially the indulgent side and the playfulness that comes with being indulgent, which is why I had this idea to reflect it all in the mirror," not only did the mirror physically reflect indulgence in the clothes, it reflected indulgence on a visceral level - essentially "illustrating what's real and what's not real, reality (and) non-reality." A mirror to the very world we live and breathe in. It was seen in the layered prints, the oversaturated colours, the graffiti-esque backdrop, most apparent in the collection's main visual motif, a clipped poodle in Yves Klein blue. The poodle is quintessentially "posh" and "snobby," it's this sense of irony that Galliano would show all of this during couture week, it's also partly his wit and humour that sets him apart from anyone else.

It was look fourteen of the collection that featured a textured oversized blue poodle sat just underneath the collar of what appeared to be a herringbone jacket with it's arms bound. It reminded me of a horse's head motif that Galliano featured in one of his shows during the mid 1990's, in fact you can watch here when he was a guest on The South Bank Show. That horse was a depiction of one he'd seen on a cheap nasty sweater from a market stall he had visited. This was twenty years ago, and even then he was playing with the notions of high and low, it's essentially what he's doing now at Margiela. Also evident in a basic white I LOVE NY tee that became the back of a jacket who's revers and shoulders were decorated with the reinforcement stitching conventionally hidden by the tailors behind subsequent layers of fabrics, and the sturdy sleeves of a heavy winter coat were grafted onto the body of a lightweight jacket fastened not by buttons but with dainty satin ribbons like 18th Century corset ties. Essentially "altering reality to offer a new reality - which is what's going on in the world."

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