At first glance, the latest Maison Margiela show looks like the latest installment of the Joey/Balenciaga Meme: just layers of jackets that, in total, probably weigh more than the model who is wearing them. However, the ridiculousness of each colourful look that came on the runway paved way for true artistry.

Previous grievances aside, Creative Director Galliano is arguably one of the most talented designers known to fashion. His outbursts in 2011 may still leave a poor taste in people’s mouths, but the Brit has been back for four years, and with each collection, his craft becomes more impressive.

For fall, the designer formulated a new way to communicate the core artistry of Margiela. The clothes have been pushed beyond limits, and sometimes beyond conventional recognition. In his signature experimentalist approach, Galliano – who has 20-plus years of haute couture under his belt – crafted bustiers, gentlemen’s tweeds, argyle skirts and puffer coats into an amalgamation of acid-tone chaos that produced a futuristic take of traditional pieces. Every outfit requires a significant inspection to understand it’s components. Taking inspiration from the young employees and interns at the house, Galliano incorporated technology into the looks, from virtual reality headsets to iPads in bags to iPhones strapped on by ankle-bracelets that filmed the front row in real-time.

 

Neon ribbed stockings, cellophane helmets, and Crayola-hued hair brought back the fun into couture week. In comparison, the week was filled with subdued colours and signature styles that will keep customers satisfied. But the amusement doesn’t come without meaning. Galliano described in his second runway-specific podcast that the piled-on looks represent the trappings of the digital age – we are never without our tech. Our businesses are bound to a screen, just like the models are bound in tulle tubes or multiple puffer jackets stuffed with upholstery wadding. The designer muses in the podcast that “we’re all nomads today, and we’re attached to our iPhones….We are nomadic. We do move in tribes. I came up with this word: neo digital natives.”

Cheers to a collection that transcends beyond just clothes.

Photos from Vogue Runway. 

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Jane Bradshaw

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