Firstly, one must savagely curtail the instinctual habit to over-contextualize John Galliano's work at the Margiela Maison. His work has been greatly over elaborated upon in the past, at Dior, his own label and most certainly Margiela. The desire to analyze and intellectualize the work proffered by Galliano is a strong one to resist... However, resist one must! Secondly, Galliano's Fall/Winter 2015 Artisinal collection was truly, Electrifying. An amalgam of the absolute best aspects of the work of both John and Martin. A synthesis of perfect proportions. Yes, there is probably scores and volumes of context hidden in this collection for the intrepid enthusiast to decode (including the sly allusion to Dior in Maartje Verhoef's Taupe Satin evening dress at Exit No. 23) However, if Galliano is comfortable enough to remain Sphinx-like in the way of explanations... I am all right and well with it too!
Galliano mined the rich heritage of the house he is currently residing while keeping something of the eternal subversive streak that runs to his core. Margiela was not so much a designer of subversion, more of reappropriation, and Galliano stuck his foot firmly in that model of execution, with pieces rendered from old Potato Sacks (A simply mavellous wrap coat that was then richly appointed with Lesage embroidery) or a Frothy, complex assemblage of a evening dress that said Lacroix on Acid from the front, but had what appeared to be a full on attached overcoat flailing from the back! Galliano also riffed on such homespun English favorites as tapestry Needlepoint (in a superbly breathtaking dress of immense intricacy on Ondria Hardin) to Crochet (paired with a genius Black Leather wrap jacket, no less!) He even audaciously attached a metallic jewel tone Green halter strap to what was, it looked, a Camel hair blanket, and called it a dress!
However, it was two looks, both showing how gifted a technician he is, where Galliano shined brightest, one being a minimal black jacket that had a shadowy echo of Dior's "Bar" line to it, paired with a Christmas paper bright sparkly Green pencil skirt that gave us a glimpse of the John of "Ye Olde" and most potently, the Mauve Opera coat on Magdelena Jasek that was pristinely unadorned from the front, cut with the purest and most adroitly precise lines, yet between the shoulder blades in back, draped like some deformed Japanese Obi, a shock of Electric Blue Silk done up like a backpack! It was, in a word... MONUMENTAL!
Galliano has shown in just 3 collections that he is plotting a course of discovery and rediscovery, discovery of the hidden treasures of Margiela, in all their distinct variety... And also, a rediscovery of self that had somewhat become subsumed by all the Glamour and heady excesses of Dior. It's going to be a journey worth the watching, of that, we can all be sure! Where we end up...