30 Jan 2024 ///

How Maison Margiela’s SS24 Haute Couture Show Astounded Everyone

This year, John Galliano is celebrating ten years at the helm of Maison Margiela. To mark the occasion, Galliano showcased an astounding theatrical sartorial display; for the first time in years and years, a true narrative was on offer to the fashion landscape. The show wove together Galliano’s vision and penchant for referencing; a sublime feat that the designer has always been noted for. It was 1920s Parisian underworld in some instances, 19th century ‘Gilded’ in moments; still, it felt modern and relatable, particularly because it dosed us with something we have been missing. Fashion as true fantasy. You can listen to Galliano’s own thoughts on certain Maison Margiela collections, here, to understand what I mean.

In an underground part of the Pont Alexandre III in Paris, Maison Margiela’s 2024 ‘Artisanal’ (Haute Couture) toyed with form in a multiplicity of ways. With his long standing collaborator, make-up genius Pat McGrath; model’s faces were affixed with rich hues of colour, set in a mysterious substance that portrayed a glass-like, doll-like look; otherworldly, but not technological – etheric, but also ‘of this world’. These contrasts and dances with surrealism are where Galliano has always shone brightest; Galliano is arguably one of the greatest designers of our age; I implore you to read here to learn about this enigmatic emperor of couture.

Valentine Charrasse for Maison Margiela, Artisanal 2024, Make Up by Pat Mcgrath, from @patmcgrathreal IG

Naomi Apajok Lueth for Maison Margiela, Artisanal 2024, Make Up by Pat Mcgrath, from @patmcgrathreal IG

The garments worked as distinguishing features of the model’s own form; cinched waists, prosthetic manipulation, cascading, sheer fabrics made their way down the intimate space, as the models undulated and contorted themselves; as if this were really a performance and not simply a fashion show. This was all choreographer Pat Boguslawski’s doing, alongside legendary art director Lexy Roche. As Alexander Fury wrote for AnOther Magazine,The models – or muses, as Galliano rightfully calls them these days – wound up melding with the clothes, literally in a sequence of body-smothering pieces inspired by the Fauvist artist Kees van Dongen, who saw bodies in blue and skies in pink and green, and painted a fantasy world unlike that we mere mortals see.”

As reported by Alexander, the techniques employed by Galliano and his team convey some of the most discreet and yet astounding ‘fashion trickery’ techniques; silicone treatments to make fabric appear soaking, or treated with glue to age – decoupaged lace and ‘porcelain’ necklaces. It was as if the Atelier had spent months simply playing and we were finally allowed to see the final thing. 

The show featured many incredible threads, but nothing quite held people’s attention than the fanciful and brilliant mind of Pat McGrath, fashion’s legendary make-up artist. Beauty fanatics on social media furiously sought out the trick; with WWD reporting that the product might be revealed by McGrath, as part of her own iconic beauty brand. 

It appears that in the midst of luxury fashion’s ill-fated relationship with excess and overconsumption – true artistry still exists to inspire us all. Thank you Galliano, for seeing your work through.

For more news, visit the Connect Everything Collective homepage www.ceconline.co.za

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