Maison Margiela AW2018 ‘Défilé’ Collection propels its vision forward to an innate new language and wardrobe based on the vocabulary established through the Artisanal collection. Dressing in reverse is an idea as subversive as relaxed glamour: a trench coat worn casually under a dress, a jumper thrown over a blazer, or the glimpse of a fisherman’s knit under a transparent skirt. For AW2018, John Galliano examines the inverted wardrobe established at Maison Margiela. The silhouettes of Haute Couture are clarified in garments realized in sculpturally magnified volumes. Outerwear transforms into dresses when dressing in haste. It’s a nylon coat worn under a décortiqué leather jacket, or a deconstructed salopette layered over a trench coat. Seducing the eye, illusionary materials create memories of the familiar.
A transparent hologram coat encasing multi-coloured layers of viscose fringing, tulle and organza evokes the codes of rodeo. A grey melange décortiqué jacket is encrusted with the memory of an Aran knit cast in rubber. Fusions of authentic wardrobe staples appropriate the inappropriate. It’s illustrated in the bonding of a herringbone blazer with a fisherman’s knit, or in a twill skirt embossed with the memory of a rodeo skirt. In a play between layers, transparency and reflection, garments become transformative and generate a sense of unconscious glamour.
Drawing on the Artisanal collection, holographic and transparent materials take centre stage. Iridescent foil, nylon, reflective flash-sensitive fabric and changeant react to light and movement, effectively shape-shifting on the body. Layered under poly-urethane, tulles and organza liquefy into three-dimensional forms encouraged by the texture of viscose fringing. The effect is echoed in the use of chiffon, voile and georgette. Heritage materials sourced from the men’s wardrobe – herringbone, cavalry twill, gabardine, wool of Aran knits – counter the collection’s technical character and instil a sense of authenticity. Leather appears in outerwear such as cabans and fringed décortiqué rodeo jackets.
Notions of relaxed glamour and dressing backwards inform cuts and silhouettes. The hybridisation of classic wardrobe staples calls for bonding and embroidery, employed throughout the collection such as in the fusion of knitwear with tailoring. Outerwear encases layers of materials to create new images through depth. Moulded rubber bears the recollection of knitwear, while formage – the three-dimensional embossing of twill creates the imprinted memory of rodeo pieces. Prints of similar motifs appear in multiple colours on transparent fabric layered to create a transformative filtrage. Cementing a house code, décortiqué – the reduction of a garment to its core is exercised in outerwear similarly alluding to the memory of traditional items of clothing.
Heritage tones from the humble men’s wardrobe such as charcoal, beige, melange, off-white and black are offset by the boldness of security yellow, Klein blue and fuchsia. Greens and royal purple further add to a Technicolor palette nodding to the iridescence of the technical materials used in the collection.
Inspired by the way in which contemporary tech gadgets serve as extensions of the body, jewellery takes on a prosthetic feel. Ear cuffs and tube rings in rubber and hand cuffs in rubber or chrome-plated brass follow the contours of the body, while diamonté brooches and earrings embellish the anatomy like growing organisms. Nodding to the idea of jewellery display cards, brooches are mounted on acetate boards. Chain belts in brass or rubber-coated metal link to rodeo. Introduced in the Artisanal collection, the Margiela sneaker features in high-top and low-top editions, while the cloud-like Glam Slam bag appears in a new iridescent form.