Haute Couture SS19: Maison Martin Margiela

FOR the SS19 Haute Couture collection John Galliano kept it simple when it came to the venue, no fancy secret location or cleared-out museum, taking it back to the origin of fashion shows, the SS19 Maison Martin Margiela’s show took place at their own headquarters.

A mirrored runway reflected the beautiful artwork plastered on the ceiling and walls, transforming the room into an eclectic kaleidoscopic world of prints and colours.

Creative director John Galliano believes we live in an era of abundance which will result into restraint. With his SS19 haute-couture collection, entitled Artisanal, he intended to illustrate this shift, starting off with screaming outfits, complete with poodles in a Klein-blue, slowly transitioning into re-assembled simpler ensembles.

We didn’t know where to look first as models came down the runway in gender-fluid fil-coupé tube dresses, blending seamlessly with the backdrop. A repetition of the same print – in different formats – came down the runway, matching the resin-hats and laquer flats.

Long tube-esque dresses restrict any arm movement and are worn with elbows high in the back, pushing the boundaries to the extent that dress starts as if it took inspiration from a dressing bag. Jackets were asymmetrical and utilitarian with a fur collar.

The collection was gender fluid, exemplified by a male model walking out in a dress in the same poodle print sporting a GRLPWR tattoo.

Bending not only the gender rules but the fashion rules, Maison Martin Margiela built on its love for deconstructing and reconstructing garments. Scarps of thick wool fabrics were slashed and cut up only to be reassembled, detailed with outer stitching and green lining peeping through. Galliano repurposed 1940s grey knit skirts as a jacket, adding a embroidery of the mascot of the show: poodle the big blue dog.

Two pieces had no sleeves or shoulders for that matter, and were paired over sheer lace tops, with obvious cut lines and feather sleeves, resembling a pom-pom. Cheerleaders of extravagant fashion.

Yet more neutral looks also made an appearance, balancing out the sheer excess of the first list of looks, exactly portraying this era of excess and Galliano’s vision on the future. Grey de-constructed, or un-constructed, suits with white top-stitching, reversed the rules of fashion as tweed jackets became trousers and leather trousers jackets.

Ending the show were Margiela-takes on classics. Models wore extremely tight white trousers, over a neatly tailored blazer with strong shoulders and cinched in with a thick ribbon.

Balancing out the oversized looks of his SS19 haute-couture collection, was a micro-cape. A cropped mini-cape, with noteworthy shoulder detailing was paired with some high-waisted leather trousers, accentuating a tiny waist.

With absurd resin headpieces, cloth wigs and My Little Pony hair colours, Margiela’s SS19 collection was extravagant, unexpected and astonishing from top to bottom.

by Lupe Baeyens

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