If fashion is the imagination made physical, then Maison Margiela is where people can really embrace their innermost desires.
The world is in turmoil. Chaos reigns in the streets. There is futility in trying to make sense of it all, and this futility is at the heart of Albert Camus‘ philosophy of absurdism. Searching for answers and trying to catch meaning when it is as elusive as the ether is absurd, argues Camus. Let’s just all relax and accept things as they are. If you were to align any designer with the absurdist theory, Martin Margiela would most certainly be first, and, not surprisingly, John Galliano would be a close second. The two know how to delight in the surreal and the ridiculous. Their designs seem to say, “It’s all gone to hell anyway, so why not have fun with it.”
If you were to align any designer with the absurdist theory, Martin Margiela would most certainly be first, and, not surprisingly, John Galliano would be a close second.
More central to Galliano’s efforts for the brand is a certain knack for collage — he is less interested in sewing a sleeve as a pants leg in the name of deconstruction than he is in splicing together disparate elements and rendering artisanal materials into wonderfully bizarre forms. His idea of fun is rooted in the investigation of sub-cultures, the subversion of the norm, and the abstraction of our dearly beloved fashion silhouettes into new and exciting templates for the future. The depth of imagination that goes into his work is boundless.
Spring 2016 Couture surrenders to the absurd, yet, within the freedom of Galliano’s liberated mentality, there are some very cool take-aways. The amazing utility jacket that opened the show is an undeniably gorgeous piece, and that silk fish-print jacket is perfect for the street style crowd. But there is more absurd than practical in this presentation, and every look invites you to take a risk. Why wouldn’t you sport a cracked, molten-silver top that puckers and twists in the middle? And why not pair that with a matching skirt? A skirt that looks like it’s made from a drag queen’s weave? Sure, why not? What about a plush, sporty jacket from which panels of embroidered fabric emerge, jutting every which way? If fashion is the imagination made physical, then Maison Margiela is where people can really embrace their innermost desires. The best part about your imagination or Galliano’s imagination, for that matter, is that there is no limit to it.
Slipping into Maison Margiela’s outré propositions is an exercise in opposition to the world’s odious problems. By claiming the absurd and eschewing the status quo, one finds liberation. As Camus once said, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Go forth and rebel, sisters.