Has John Galliano been watching backseasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Flipping through Maison Margiela’s latest looks from the Paris couture shows, Ru’s booming runway tagline—“SILENCE! Bring... back.. my... girls”—permeated the thread, somewhere between Sharon Needles and Vi Vacious.
Influenced by the designer’s romantic feelings towards the costumes of the French revolution—and displayed at Les Invalides, which Vogue’s Sarah Mower notes is helmed by a statue of Napoleon—what emerged was not just a revision of the dandy chaos those frilly military uniforms invoke, here translated with shirred over-blouses made with clear vinyl, jaunty caps over a general’s overcloak and thigh-high Wellingtons (NEED), and proper 19th Century judicial wear rendered in space age silver lamé. Its inspiration was merely a guide, despite a sleeping-style gown explicitly painted with the word “REVOLUTION” in a kooky free-jazz font. This collection was firmly situated in Club Kid aesthetics (hence the Vi Vacious vibes) and implied a cultural revolution as well, bookended with neon splotches of makeup slashed across the face, war wounds from late nights at Limelight and kissing face at the Pyramid club.
As Vogue notes, Galliano’s dabbled in these ideas and silhouettes for his whole career—recall one of my favorite runway shows of all time, Spring/Summer 1994, to choose but one—his obsession with the (somewhat troubling!) old wave of France colliding with more current concern, almost like old war heroes resurrected as zombies and taken straight to Ibiza for cultural acclimation. Like if the Night’s King really loved to party.
Shanté you stay!
Images via Getty