I don't know where to start...I saw the masterpiece that Galliano created at Maison Margiella. I think that "to see" is used minimalistic in this case. Rather, I was penetrated by some images, I exceeded the limit of perceptible knowledge... I have poor and few words..
photo: Georges Brassai
On Thursday evening, John Galliano took over the left bank of the Seine, under the arch of the Alexandre III bridge in Paris, for the Haute Couture Maison Margiela Spring/Summer 2024 Artisanal show, recreating a 1920s cave, with loose chairs, made of bent wood, obscure cocktails, with the aroma of violets and smoky mirrors, in gilded, weathered frames, lit only by the light of the first full moon of the year.
Then he populated it with characters drawn from Brassaï's voyeuristic work, their unnatural movements reminiscent of jointless marionettes, stone-faced porcelain dolls, or perhaps the jerky movement of early cinema, where the animated image was a wonder in itself. From time to time, the blood red soles of Louboutin shoes tear your retina, like the dress of the little girl in the movie Schindler's List.
Every time I think of Galliano, I remember the excerpt from Andre Leon Talley's book, The Chiffon Trenches, in which he talks about saving this genius from bankruptcy and keeping him in the world of fashion, where, it seems, he can still change paradigm.
Creator: Pierre Suu | Credit: Getty Images
Copyright: 2024 Pierre Suu
In 1994, John Galliano was a man on the verge of despair. The designer had lost his financial backer and was living in squalor in Paris. Galliano was fortunate to have a support system that quickly mobilized—editors (notably Anna Wintour), models, accessory designers, and a few generous benefactors worked together to ensure Galliano remained on the fashion calendar.
Andre frantically looked for a space for that fashion show to take place and turned to his friend, São Schlumberger, who made Galliano's house from the 17th century available to him, without asking for anything in return.
Linda the Evangelist, 1994
Photo credit: Vogue
Then, Manolo Blahnik offered her the necessary shoes for the parade for free, the stylist Amanda Harlech got her diamond jewelry from all the famous houses in Paris, and the famous models of the time, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Nadja Auermann , Carla Bruni and others paraded for him for free. On the morning of the presentation, Galiano literally sewed Kate Moss into a dress. Stephen Jones happily contributed his hats without asking for anything in return.
Carla Bruni, 1994
It was the show that made him who he is today. He put it on the map. It was the show that led him to Givenchy and then to Dior. After the scandal at Dior, Galliano was quite restrained in public appearances, but last night, after years of social shadow, he came out, in the moonlight, with this celebration of humanity, individuality, fashion as a pure creative expression and extraordinary craft. It's not for nothing that he called it "Artisanal"...
Maison Margiella, Artisanal Show 2024
The clip is directed by Baz Luhrmann, another genius, this time of cinema, whose redundant imagination you have met if you have seen Elvis, The Great Gatsby (the recent screening with DiCaprio, not the one with Redford), Moulin Rouge, Australia and others.
Maison Margiella, Artisanal Show 2024
I will end with what Dana Thomas wrote about Galliano in his book. Gods and Kings, "With him (John Galliano) you understand the extravagant possibilities of fashion - the beautiful absurdity, with which he intoxicates us in excess. And there was always a fusion and a dissonance between the present and the past, as if you were witnessing the history of fashion in the immediate moment"
John Galliano