“DO YOU FEEL THE BLOOD MOON?” asks Maison Margiela’s Stepford space witches, in a creepy stage whisper. “I DOOOOOOOO.”
There’s been a lot of fatigue around the ‘70s inspiration of Fall’s offerings from those of us who don’t look good in flairs and would like mustard to stay on our sandwiches. Luckily, this fashion month we’ve seen that dissipating quite a bit, with the best collections opting in favor of innovation and creativity, referencing the ‘60s or ‘90s when they gotta, but not forcing us all into some Charlie’s Angels hellzone (although don’t get me wrong, I love a good ochre-tinted turtleneck).
Maison Margiela’s Spring 2016 show in Paris Wednesday was a good example of this: of course creative director John Galliano is never going to fall into lockstep with the establishment (often to his detriment, his career forever marred). And he’s at his best when creating fantasies, something he was able to do here while still maintaining the dread salability that everyone’s always nattering on about. Bowie clearly influenced some of the make-up and the brief bit of androgyny on display, but these are very clearly space witches from the planet 1962. Some of them were beamed down to earth with their beehive still setting in the dryer; others are still wrapped in their protective warp-speed cocoon, all gauze and silvery appliqué armor.
Of course there’s the archetype of the stay-at-home, space-age woman, empowered (or distracted) by all her newfangled appliances but brewing something deeper and darker within; there are also echoes of Galliano’s time at Dior in its shape and structure and classicism, almost a reclamation and renewal. He’s making these garments for a woman who’s not just strong but preternaturally so, with a sense of revolt in the way the fishnets wrapped around the witchy heels, or in the structure of a boxy neoprene top with an oily-sheened, embroidered skirt. Your guy is still into subverting feminine expectations with shape (loose, nearly Grecian gowns grazing the floor with an air of formality) and fabric (lose your brain the sumptuousness of that velvet jacket, so proper in its cut and so aggressive with its contrasting knot). Let’s do a collective chant and will it into our closets.
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Images via Getty