On a rainy night in Paris, Maison Margiela and John Galliano made fashion history. We’ve been through so many fashion weeks, so many runways, and so many looks, it seems that as time passes and the industry evolves, we have been forced to expect more quantity and less quality. We have no choice but to digest nine of ten shows per day for more than a month, and in the end, we can’t even remember who did what. As much as we long for the past, where fashion apparently felt like fashion, the shows were actually shows, and the impact of them has trascended for decades, apparently this nostalgia was just meant to be felt and mourned but never solved or fulfilled, and there was no way our generation could ever witness again what real fashion was back then. We had Lee McQueen, but with more than fourteen years without him, the future was just hopeless, like the spectacle died with him.
Seeing Margiela in the Haute Couture calendar is always a relief, something to look out for, the guarantee that we are about to receive a little boast of serotonin that will help us go through the still-packed fashion schedule. But what our eyes saw yesterday is sufficient to provide us, or at least me, with energy for a decade. When reflecting on it, I’ve never seen something like this in my whole life. I was eleven when McQueen gifted us his last show. I liked fashion back then already, but it makes sense that I was not tuned in with a livestream of a runway show at that age, where I’m not even sure livestreams were even a thing. So for mine and newer generations, we’ve just never had the possibility to feel the rush a show like yesterday’s can bring to someone who loves fashion as much as I and many others do.
I’m not going to lie and say I don’t cry easily; I do, but I can’t remember any recent show where so many emotions were felt as strongly as they did with this one, and that’s what I feel lacks in the modern day. There’s a deep and important connection that happens when a creator is capable of making you feel something that sets the bond between a brand and their audience to be almost unbreakable. For people who like and live fashion, we don’t see it as a product; we see it as an extension of the human experience, a testimony of the creator’s mind translated into tangible pieces that exist in a specific universe and context, not just resting on a hanger. 
Yesterday night, the mix between the location, the interior, the live performance, the fashion film, and the runway show was more than enough to immerse us in the Galliano universe. More information given secures a better understanding of what is happening in front of our eyes, and nothing is too much when it comes to receiving a piece the way the creator intended us to.
Leon Dame appeared on the runway, straight out of the short movie that was played before it. This noir-like piece explores the rawest side of Paris nightlife, where the intimacy has a level of danger to it, crimes and thefts happen in the name of love, and the act of getting dressed or putting on a corset holds an intense level of violence to it, where the bruises on the body serve as a reminder of the painfully beautiful sacrifices that garments put us through. On a rainy Parisian night, the show starts in an alley under the Pont Alexandre III next to an antique 1920s club where the models entered as part of the show. 
We can always trust Dame to put on a show, and he was the perfect start for it, but this time it wasn’t only him; each and every model strut down the runway with an hypnotic cadence and a eery walk to them, where the movements seem to be provoked not only by the dark and obscure setting where the renegades and the eccentric seem to thrive, but by the constraints the garments, especially the very, very cinched corsets, provoke on the body. 
The collection speaks about the souls that live in the night, in the tunnels, the underground, and the backstreet. No wonder the invitation was a subway ticket. In this dark night, the full moon reflected on their skins, and the icon Pat McGrath knew exactly what she had to do to make their skins look like haunted porcelain dolls that only receive a few but bright and almost magic lights. In these streets, some walk with confidence, wearing nothing but totally transparent dresses, some dark, some watercolour-like, that reveal the naked inside body adorned and shaped by nothing but the corset in a commitment to portray the reality of the body, nothing to hide, no private parts to blur or conceal; each part is as body as the other. While others walk with suspicion, protecting themselves from the outside world and using big coats as shields between them and humanity, they are not sure if they should trust others or not; they wander the way with insecure eyes, analysing the area in case there’s danger near them. 
In other cases, they seem to be the danger themselves, wearing berets, hats, and eye masks just like the ones the typical burglars used to wear in every old tale and movie. Crime happening is shown in the fashion film, and in the actual looks, this narrative keeps on being told, with some cases where the model seems to be wearing multiple torn and pierced pairs of stockings, and in between each pair, some jewellery pieces can be seen just hanging in there, as if they had nowhere else to store their loot in. Aside from the incredible silhouettes, where the common denominador was the focal point in the waist line thanks to the corsets, enhanced even more by the prominent ways the hip areas were constructed, the fabrics used on every garment contributed immensely to the story that was being told. We mentioned the veils and the transparencies before, but they were not there just as if they were thrown at the body. They had interesting manipulations, where rose shapes were formed using the same fabric and holes were cut just halfly so they could move at the same time the body did.
Some of these tules worked as a second layer to big and heavy outer garments that gave them a sort of depth and contrast; while some were more subtle with the shade, others had a complete contrast, like the extremely pierced black fabric over a heavy and big white jacket. The deconstructed and oversize tailored pieces signature of Margiela were everywhere, ones with more classic fabrics while others explored different textures like a pleated kimono-style coat in a very specific washed-out brown shade that resembled almost to perfection the look of cardboard and boxes when they get wet. This wetness, probably originated from the rain and moist characteristic of city nights, was included in some other coats as a delicate embroidery in the back that looks exactly like fresh rain drops. With the model carrying a broken umbrella and shaking and shivering with every step made, it was the whole scene. The last looks were the most loyal to what a porcelain doll looks like: baby blue and white stripe dresses, romantic and light white long skirts, and Gwendoline Christine personifying the ultimate doll dream with a latex body on top of the braless look.
There are thousands of details left to discuss about this, but in the end, it was Galliano’s artistry in its full glory. He’s a designer loyal to himself and to his ideas, consistent with his art and his team. When seeing the looks of this collection and the striking makeup, I couldn't help but reminisce about his 2007 fall ready-to-wear show. Diving deeper into the details, Pat McCgrath was also there in the makeup and Stephen Jones in the incredible hats and headpieces; no wonder why the involuntary association was made. Galliano has always had it in him; he has always known what to do and who to work with, and this seems like it won’t stop anytime soon. Margiela has been the perfect vehicle to transport his vision to the outside, making it even more complex if possible. This is the perfect encounter between two of the best things that have ever happened to fashion.