#SuzyCouture: Maison Margiela Artisanal – From Street Art To Gender Play
‘Decadence is a cyclical circumstance moving with the turns of the centuries,’ said the digitally-sent words explaining the Maison Margiela Artisanal Collection. This statement from current designer John Galliano sounded forceful. It was followed by other explanatory statements as in:
‘Revolution: a desire for change. Maison Margiela renders the decadence of our time and examines if inverted excess could lead to a new appetite for restraint.’
Restraint? Well, the answer to that last question had to be ‘no!’ if judging by the set, which had dizzying graffiti on the ceiling reflected in the mirrored floor and patterned clothes.
But maybe the restraint came in the form of arms trapped in a sleeveless coat and fastened behind the back?
Some of the Galliano codes – like the cut of a coat – were so powerful that you instantly forgot that the way the garments were worn on the chaotically patterned runway were plain weird. And that is not even including those poodles and the fact that you couldn’t – as used to be said so long ago – ‘tell the boys from the girls’.
I worked out that the simpler the clothes (relatively speaking), the more likely the model was to be male. Or perhaps not.
Yet hasn’t fashion been through various moments of gender fluidity before?
There was probably also something important in the show about environmentalism and eco-friendly fabrics. But that was not in the programme notes and Galliano has still decided not to talk to the press.
The result? A frustrating show from a fashion designer who must have had more to say than he got across. Flashes of intelligent and artistic pieces kept the fashion fire burning – but not raging.