Filters and Faces at Maison Margiela Spring 2017 Couture

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While Margiela copycats invade the fashion world, there remains only one original, and one predecessor gifted enough to make it his own.

Even though Schiaparelli now has an official presence on the Paris Haute Couture Week calendar, it was Maison Margiela that upstaged the legendary brand in the realm of the surreal. Maison Margiela’s ‘Artisanal’ collection was brought to life in the most fascinating way, with the help of artist Benjamin Shine. Like a plume of smoke ejecting from a chimney, Shine’s handcrafted face poured forth from a white bonded coat in black tulle form creating the most arresting look of the entire Spring 2017 Couture season. Instantly, images of the startling face began to make their rounds on social media. Designer John Galliano loves turning ideas upside-down and inside-out, which is why – when applied to the Maison Margiela legacy – his creations offer both suspense and surprise. It’s like doubling down on the surreal to have Galliano work within the circumference of the Margiela atelier, but Shine’s addition adds a third layer of intrigue.

Designer John Galliano loves turning ideas upside-down and inside-out, which is why – when applied to the Maison Margiela legacy – his creations offer both suspense and surprise.

Maison Margiela Spring 2017 Couture
Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Yet the Galliano x Shine collaboration wasn’t the only moment that caught notice, in fact, there were many. From a nude bodysuit worn beneath a cage-like slip (the next “nearly nude” dress coming to a Kardashian near you) to a white mesh jacket embroidered with a face vomiting rainbows (borrowed from that one Snapchat filter, perhaps?) Maison Margiela toyed with expectations. And yet, there were totally reasonable looks in the mix, like a siren red coat held closed at the throat by human hands. Deconstruction and reconstruction were familiar themes, seen on sliced apart trenchcoats, cut-out floppy hats, and dresses that were bunched, gathered, and shredded to strips. While Margiela copycats invade the fashion world, there remains only one original, and one predecessor gifted enough to make it his own.

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