It’s pretty confusing when a person you hate makes something you love, right?

The world will always belong to brilliant assholes; Julianne expounded upon this idea when John Galliano was appointed as head of Maison Margiela last fall, shaking down the particulars of his curiously swift transition from near-total (and merited) ostracization to widely heralded return.

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Galliano made technically made his “comeback” back in January with a lackluster showing at the end of the London menswear schedule, but because of the weird timing, this fall 2015 couture show is apparently considered his official coming out. And here’s the thing: it’s really good.

Initially, as I clicked through the looks, I completely forgot that Galliano was behind this collection. Temporarily unburdened by the ugly context of the designer’s bigotry, I was wholeheartedly taken in by the story these garments tell—they’re not wearable, which usually annoys me, but there’s a clear, focused ascent from the dirt to the clouds, from cocoon to moth and back again. The last look, a plastic-trimmed wedding gown that’s very Rihanna at the Met Ball (everyone is copying Rihanna, as freaking always) crossed with Bjork on a glacier, is a feat, managing to be earthy and futuristic and weightless and burdensome all at once.

Shit, I realized.

Another compelling choice was made in Galliano’s casting: three men walked in this show, a subtle pull for the naturalness of androgyny in a collection centered on the organic. They’re almost completely undetectable, save some unshaven legs and much-larger shoes:

But with one inspired decision comes another gigantic letdown—while The Guardian hopefully noted the “suggestion of a reference to Galliano’s repentance, in a model wearing a sackcloth coat,” it seems that the designer only cast one single, lone, bitterly token non-white model. That is not repentance—that is perfunctory PR.

So. Welcome back, asshole. You’ll fit right in.


Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

Images via Getty.