Why did I love my last trip to Rome so much? I accidentally, but very luckily, discovered Luna & L’Altra boutique, that was about to close in the couple of days – after 30 years of existence. The amazingly charismatic and inspiring owner, Biba Libera (photographed above), first introduced Japanese designers to Italy – think Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garçons, Issey Miyake – and throughout the years gathered a brilliant collection of Maison Martin Margiela (even the super rare, artinasal pieces, like the gloves top or the tape bag). She even borrowed some of the pieces to Musee Galliera in Paris, which did the designer’s retrospective not a long time ago. Some of the items from her archives were available to buy. Meanwhile, she chatted with anyone who was as in awe with her and her store as me. It’s so sad to hear that places like this close due to the fashion industry’s pace… but as she said, she was ready for this step. And she’s here for a new adventure! Really hope to meet her soon.
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.
I have very mixed feelings about John Galliano designing for Maison Margiela. His first haute couture collection was warmly welcomed, but partly because it was his debut after a long period of pause; his AW15 ready-to-wear was all about eccentric ladies which couldn’t be us dramatic as they wanted to be – in other words, this collection felt tamed and unnecessarily too calm, like if the designer was scared to shock. And now, as we already got used to Galliano at Margiela, its time for a honest opinion about this case. The new haute couture presented yesterday in Paris looked like a collection designed by a young fashion student who sewed it just before the dead-line, having in mind a chaotic mood-board without any sensible idea. Minimal silhouettes (which totally don’t match John’s adoration to opulence), glitter scattered all over the mini-dresses, a bit of tapestry embellished onto the capes and a big, white garbage bag instead of a beautiful bridal dress. And additionally the idea of Japanese sharpness which was suddenly presented in form of an obi-belted coat. It utterly felt like Galliano didn’t have any precise idea for this season and for this collection. Showing off trashy styling, shoes made for “breaking your legs” and telling people that its all so into Martin Margiela’s spirit makes me feel hurt. I love Martin Margiela as Martin Margiela and I used to love John Galliano, to sum it up.
So, here we are. The second collection by John Galliano for Maison Margiela. Without explanation – John matches the spirit of Maison Martin Margiela PERFECTLY. Now with explanation. The collection was a more than fun – it had a melancholic humour in it. A bit childish, a bit grumpy. But bold and full of colour. The vinyl coat with green lilac attached to it talked bad witches; the Mary-Jane shoes were over-sized, so they made us think little children trying to look mature in their mum’s footwear; the orange gloves and voluminous caftans appeared to be inspired with aristocratic ladies who always have this magical aura around them… whatever they say, good that Galliano is back after a traumatic breaks and again brings fashion back to fashion.
Still not under John Galliano’s wings because of some top secret reasons, the new Maison Margiela collection for men is… well, very Margiela. When the Maison Margiela studio doesn’t know how to shock or provoke, they just splash paint everywhere they feel like, and make it all look so whatever. Painted jackets, hands, pants – I mean, that’s every art student’s daily wardrobe. The boogie nights knits with these melange psychedelic prints are artsy too. But, common Margiela – I can’t wait to see Galliano’s first ready-to-wear comeback!
I did it. These Maison Martin Margiela boots are so good. Andreas Murkudis store in Berlin knows what’s good for me.
At the end of the show, every Instagram post said one thing: he’s back. Who? Of course John Galliano. The biggest couturier of 21st century, the story-teller of fashion, the provocateur – is back in great form. At Maison Martin Margiela.
His debutant show was presented in London – which is a major change because all previous Margiela collections were presented in Paris. But in reality, London was the main inspiration behind the Artisanal presentation. It’s youthful attitude, beautiful people and monarchy vs. punk conflict strongly influenced John throughout his career and while creating the collection.
The first look was suprisingly Margiela, but not that much at the same time – Galliano trailed toy cars across the collaged landscape of a tiny suede sheath. The sheath is the signature Martin Margiela piece, but the infantile elements are making us think of John’s spirit of fantasy. Within this excessively embroidered collection, we’ve met so many bold characters. The red queen coming straight from a fairy-tale. The tribal leader wearing a pagan veil. The rebellious dame looking like Vivienne Westwood. The chic dandy in black suite. Many of them were unknown to the house codes, but they feel close to it with their strong identity and need of experimenting.
With a blink-and-you-missed-it bow, John Galliano was seen wearing an iconic white coat from the Margiela atelier. Famous for showing off with his own outfit, this time he thought that’s not needed – the collection itself was so fearless, daring, heroic and stunning, that only the visual experience can express it!
Guys, that’s happening. John Galliano is taking over Maison Martin Margiela, and presents his first Haute Couture collection this month. Firstly, this combination felt a bit awkward to everybody – Margiela was always known for “minimalism”. But that’s just a fashion stereotype. No. Maison Martin Margiela has never been a minimal label. It’s dramatic, bold, edgy, different. The fact that real Martin Margiela never gave any interview and he is totally anonymous up to today, doesn’t mean that the label is minimalistic. Just look at their past artisanal collections – they are full of couture embroideries, one-of-a-kind textiles (for example tapestry based on La Femme du Roi by Paul Gauguin (1896) or draping made from two hanging textile prints of Mira Lunar, designed by Verner Panton) and fantastic jewellery. Maison Martin Margiela also brought a lot of unexpected accessories to their ready-to-wear – transparent plexi clutches with artificial roses inside or the famous tabi boots, which look like a horse hoof.
I am writing about this, to prove you one thing – reflecting on John Galliano’s collections in the past for Dior, his style should be perfect for Maison Martin Margiela. The fact, that he got drunk and started to say cruel things about Jews in one of Parisian caffees few years ago made him lose his own namesake label and Dior. Everybody showed Galliano their back, and from the first place everybody fell in love with Raf Simons. But forgetting the political matter which was strongly emphasized by LVMH (nobody’s sure whever these guys simply didn’t frame John into this “scandal”. Maybe they simply wanted to get rid of him?)- fashion world felt dull after Galliano’s departure. And the word minimal really matches Raf Simons – yes, his dresses are up till now the most sleepy of all during Haute Couture week in Paris.
But now, Renzo Rosso group, which owns Margiela, took over John Galliano. And hopefully, the fashion world is going to cheer up again, with this man. While waiting to see Maison Martin Margiela Haute Couture SS15 by John Galliano in few days, have a look at he biggest Dior / Galliano couture moments and last season’s Margiela / Matthieu Blazy show.