Maison Margiela: Deconstructed Chinoiserie dominates

Now that’s what we call a neighborly finale. The north Paris headquarters of Maison Margiela are located near one of the capital’s two Chinatowns, and the latest couture collection climaxed with swathes of Chinoiserie.


Photo: Maison Margiela


Though Chinoiserie with quite a difference – since, like most of  the collection, these gowns were wrapped up in tough see-through plastic and metallic silks. 
 
For if there was a defining piece in this spring 2018 collection it was the transparent plastic parka, imbued with a treatment that meant the day-glo colors were iridescent when caught in light. Think of when your drinks get illuminated by black light in an after hours night club. Not a bad idea for the current week of appalling weather in Paris when the Seine is breaking its banks and the traffic throughout the city is snarled.
 
“Don’t forget to use your flash when you take photos,” insisted the house’s PR staff as guests took their seats on Louis XVI chairs inside Margiela headquarters – walls, seats, catwalk all painted in matt black for the occasion.


An alternate view revealed by the flash - Photo: Maison Margiela

 
If couture is the laboratory of fashion, then Margiela’s creative director John Galliano is its maddest scientist. Galliano deconstructed like a demon cutting up Beefeater’s coats until they were just seams and collars; and sending out half-n-half trench-coats in black PVC and matt wool.  He also picked up on an idea seen in his menswear debut for Margiela last week – the deconstructed ski-boot that morphed into a sneaker.  A great example of the power of couture to revolutionize fashion, as you know versions of these will eventually be distilled into high-street fare.
 
Before his finale, with models clutching Chinese antique parasols, though made of plastic not waxed paper. Margiela’s headquarters is located in a former convent. But, quite frankly, there was nothing nun-like about this lassies.
 

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