For many, today’s Maison Margiela show at Paris Fashion Week marked the first signs of John Galliano’s return to ready-to-wear. While he’s been the designer of Maison Margiela for two seasons, his first show felt hesitant—he was, after all, attempting to please both Galliano and Margiela fans. But for Spring/Summer 2016 it felt like he was willing to have a little more fun with it, and create a line that was wearable, but true to himself as a designer while staying within the lines of the Margiela brand.
The show began with ‘50s-inspired, voluminous house coats, beehive hairdos and large carryalls that made the collection seem immediately shoppable and wearable. It progressed into a series of metallic separates and accessories—silver gloves ran up to models’ elbows, hung off their hips in the form of wrap skirts or were layered under a sheer dress to bring depth and texture to a piece. Silver tones gave way to floral patterns and cutouts and then a series of neon green suits. Japanese influences closed the show as slim-cut skirts mimicked the shape of traditional kimonos, and obi belts were tied at the breast in place of jacket closures.
The collection was clearly all over the place and lacked any real direction, but it wouldn’t be a Galliano show if it hadn’t. His designs were filled with unexpected materials like Saran Wrap that clung to the models’ hips and legs, and mirror shards that dangled off of chains to add embellishment. He played with proportions on ankle grazing pants and skirts, cropped jackets and oversized tops. At one point a series of male models came out wearing jumpsuits and skirts, looking absolutely amazing. And if guys are killing it in this line of womenswear, it’s got to be seriously on point.