PFW HAUTE COUTURE AW18: Maison Margiela

COUTURE took a technological turn yesterday in Paris. The initiator? John Galliano – who showcased his AW18 Artisanal collection for Maison Margiela. Upon first sight, his parade of models in abstract and excessively structured garments suggested the entry of an extraterrestrial species. But that was far from the case. Rather, this was Galliano’s couture take on millennials. Habituated by a virtual reality, layer upon layer of material served as the building blocks for a screaming message of machine usurpation.

One head-to-toe glance of a model quickly affirmed that message. Land at her feet, and your eyes were greeted with ultra-high, bright platform shoes – spanning across both full and tabi style. Oh, and they were finished with applicators that gripped at mobile devices. The irony. The subverted phone placement paralleled the motions of each observing attendee. All were sat with extended arms clutching at smartphones, snapping shots of the statement shoe through their own technology. You could almost hear Galliano asking: if objects are to act as extra limbs, why not infuse them into a couture collection? For his current mindset, high fashion is an experimental satire of our most favoured modern friend: the screen.

That running screen thread shielded the garments with total force. Layering was at the forefront – whether that be through countless quilted duvets, spongy, over-structured jackets, or a digital-driven mesh material that shielded the face. Hue wise, colour exploded everywhere like a neon paint rave. It’s no surprise – how many millennials see the world through black and white? Sadly, few. It’s viewed more towards the planet of the video game, with Galliano clearly playing all the right moves.

But in reality, that techno game is a statuesque obsession. We immerse ourselves in an iWorld of screens, but in our own bodies, are stationary and bound. Given that these Margiela models were swallowed up in tight tulle and puffa, was Galliano suggesting that to being contrived is our current form of comfort? Quite possibly. But one thing was for certain: this was a couture collection like no other – current, quirky and fun alike.

With Paris Fashion Week drawing to a conclusion, Galliano’s collection for Margiela is one of the last to be unveiled. And evidently – couture is coming to a close with a bang (or a mega-loud ringing mobile). Such an array of collections has been overwhelming to say the least, so we’re preparing ourselves for a nap. And as we fall asleep with devices glued to our hands, it’s not a dream we’ll soon be entering – it’s Galliano’s AW18 vision of couture. Aka: mass seduction. Onto the private Idaho!

by Faye Fearon

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Faye Fearon

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