Maison Margiela ‘Artisanal’ haute couture fall 2018

Text by: Fiammetta Cesana

Margiela’s women AW18 couture collection finds a new equilibrium between millennials’ penchant for hyper-connection and nomadic lifestyle. Wandering across new technologies and social media, young people today are nomads in a virtual reality of curated images of glamour. Dispersed in this intricate online sea and seduced by fashionable sirens, they react by reaching ports of authenticity in what is artisanal, organic, tactile… Such resistance gathers the new tribe of neo-digital natives.

“Artisanal” by John Galliano rises this new sense of awareness towards the future by merging electronic and digital world, techno-music culture and vagabond attitude in a transformative haute couture collection. 

The designer plays with deconstruction techniques, like “Décortiqué”, reverse dressing and swatching in the creation of clothes that interweave and mutate. A kind of “meta-clothing” process frames the image of a garment into another, for example in a coat cut asymmetrically into a felt cape and a classic dance skirt migrated into a jacket. Corsets are worn over coats, changing the conventional way of wearing clothes as top or bottom layers. Also lining materials swap places with fine fabrics, for example in skirts fashioned from quilted bin-liners. 

Electrified by techno sorbet colours, oversized and layered dresses entrenched the nomadic glamour. Also the use of humble and raw materials — felt, foam, bin-liners, stockings — blending with fine fabrics — tweed, bouclé, and fine vintage wools — combines the spirit of spartan nomadism and artisanal elegance.