This morning’s Maison Margiela Fall ’17 Couture show came just days after the sad passing of Jenny Meirens. As Martin Margiela’s creative and business partner, her role was integral to the house’s success, and so it was perhaps fitting that today’s presentation was held for the first time at the company’s Parisian headquarters, which also served as Martin Margiela’s design studio.
Since assuming the role of creative director, John Galliano has continued to fuse his own flamboyant fashion sensibilities with the Margiela signatures of repurposing and reconstituting garments and, of course, deconstructed tailoring. And today in Paris this meeting of minds continued to play out.
Trench coats played a pivotal role in the collection. But in Galliano’s hands, this classic, conservative cover-up was anything but. Belted tweeds were spliced with sheer panels to create a conceal and reveal effect, which was developed further as the show progressed, with transparent trenches in blush pink and black layering a multitude of looks. Deconstructed sleeves, fastened with bows or with fluted detailing, added a sense of femininity to this strict style, and when stripped back further, became elaborate corsets. There was also a play on volume, with a super-sized trench coat fashioned from precise pleating.
A distinct Western influence ran through the collection, continuing the reference to Americana that featured heavily in the Fall 2017 Ready To Wear collection. Each look was accessorized with knee-high cowboy boots, predominantly in metallic shades, which not only added an element of wit, but played to a textural theme which also saw heavily patterned woollen knits styled with sheer pleated skirts, a whisper thin one piece cinched at the waist with a glossy black belt and an elaborate gold brocade dress finished with a deconstructed hem.
As Jenny Meirens revealed to Richard O’ Mahony writing for The Gentlewoman in 2016, “There was never just one inspiration or precise idea in a Margiela collection. Martin would pull many different things together. Sometimes they would repeat over the different seasons”. A meeting of minds indeed.