Fashion world rejoices as John Galliano returns with his ‘Artisanal’ collection presented on Monday, January 12, 2015 in the midst of London Men’s Fashion Week.

Photos: Courtesy of Maison Margiela via Staff International

He’s back! The #MargielaMonday ‘Artisanal’ runway show, attended by fashion industry’s top guns like Anna Wintour, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Diesel’s Nicola Formichetti, Kate Moss, Manolo Blahnik, Christopher Bailey, and photographer Nick Knight celebrated the new beginning of John Galliano’s fashion genius. Clearly the runway show was a highly anticipated event, and the label thoroughly curated the attendance list for the two rows of white chairs for the intimate presentation.

During the runway show, I sat…..on a chair in front of my office desk in a San Francisco start-up. Obviously I wasn’t in London :) Regardless, I was ecstatic when I received the after-runway press release, show credits, and in-house photos of ‘Artisanal’ Collection’s key looks from Only The Brave’s Staff International.

I love Maison Martin Margiela; I came across the brand when I was admiring a black avant-garde garment by Yohji Yamamoto at a local SF boutique. The “de-construct and re-construct” sensibility of the brand makes its garments both humbling and glorious, and they’re feast to my DIY-minded eyes. I don’t own a Maison Martin Margiela garment, but finding time to do the Show Studio’s Design Download project is definitely high on my to-do list. I also adored H&M x Maison Martin Margiela collaboration back in 2012, even though the avant-garde impact and price points did not bode well with average shoppers.

I did notice from Staff International’s email that the press release and credits list clearly noted “Maison Margiela,” whereas the downloaded photos have all three M’s as part of their naming. Sure enough, it’s confirmed that it’s just going to be Maison Margiela from now on.

Most people in fashion industry have strong opinions about John Galliano. Like him or not, the man is a genius in attracting attention; creating controversies and wide-ranging opinions with his designs. His past works (with Givenchy, Christian Dior, his own eponymous label, and even his “little influence” on Oscar de la Renta’s F/W 2013 collection) speak volumes about his eccentric natures, and I am one of those people who found his work for Dior “hesitant,” if that makes sense. His tendencies to break boundaries were restrained with the need to look pretty. Now, after seeing the key looks of the ‘Artisanal’ Collection (you can see the whole runway photos at WWD), it looks like Maison Margiela is a good fit for him.

The de-construction and re-construction theme is alive and well, and so are Mr. Galliano’s immense talents. NY Times’ Vanessa Friedman’s review is right on the money about the whole affair, and so is Colin McDowell’s opinion over at Business of Fashion. The WWD article documented the chosen journalists’ jovial reactions after the show, and by now the whole fashion world is clearly abuzz with lively opinions and discussions about John Galliano’s latest work.

I’m going to quote the press release note about ‘Artisanal’ Collection because it describes perfectly what the Artisanal collection is all about: “A process of discovery, returning to one’s roots. Piece by piece, deconstructing and constructing a new story for Margiela. A deep commitment to the extraordinary possibilities of the Maison’s Atelier and the art of Haute Couture. Approaching tailoring, techniques, craftsmanship like a new explorer, or painter. One who sees beauty in things that are often taken for granted, giving everything a newly enriched life. A powerful and fierce yet refined mix of fabrics and materials. Stripped down, or reborn together in startling and unexpected ways.”

With that said, let’s glance towards the key looks from the collection.

Photos: Courtesy of Maison Margiela via Staff International

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Photos: Courtesy of Maison Margiela via Staff International

I found the key looks to be very John Galliano at the beginning (especially the two-toned Cruella Deville heels and tights). And they gradually, gracefully transition to a balance of John Galliano for Maison Margiela. The red velvet oriental gown at the end? Divine.

If you see the complete collection, you’ll see more wild looks, including the rather scary look that followed the red velvet dress. But for this post’s purpose, it’s great that we’re focusing on these 5 looks. They’re the perfect picks to illustrate the last sentence of the press release: “A world deep in its past but with promises of the future.”

Thank you for reading; until next time,

‘Artisanal’ Collection Credits List:
Make Up: Pat McGrath
Hair: Eugene Souleiman
Music : Jeremy Healy
Lighting : Jan Kroeze

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