Designer focus

Maison Margiela

Belgian designer Martin Margiela started his eponymous label in 1988. His designs revolutionised the industry with eccentric looks and a love for deconstruction. Today, the maison is led by John Galliano.

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About the designer

French luxury house Maison Martin Margiela was founded in 1988 by Martin Margiela. The Belgian designer launched his eponymous label after graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and working as a design assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier for two years. As Margiela shied away from the public and spent most of his career under the radar, lending his name to the maison is the most overt the designer has ever been.

Crafting both haute couture and coveted prêt-a-porter, the label always kindled a craving for more. Unconventional fabrics are expertly deconstructed, adding to the avant-garde ethos the brand houses. Exposed white stitching is an eminent symbol to devoted fashion aficionado’s, as it ornaments the house’s innovative silhouettes.

Martin Margiela relinquished the maison in 2009, leaving the house without a creative director for five years until British designer John Galliano took the reins in 2014. The label quietly changed its original name not long thereafter, omitting ‘Martin’ to signal a new beginning, without losing its avid fan base. Galliano was no stranger to the world of luxury fashion, as he led both Givenchy and Dior for years and was acclaimed as ‘British Designer of the Year’ four times.

Collection spring/summer 2018

With designs inspired by Maison Margiela’s iconic heritage, John Galliano opted for a refreshing approach to the label’s aesthetic. This season, the designers’ aviation-inspired pieces were ready for take-off. The show opened with camel-hued silhouettes, defined by mini and midi lengths. A beige mackintosh-inspired ensemble featured a sartorial cut, elevated by a vibrant red panel that hugged the bodice. Starting an ongoing theme of cinched waists, the silhouette was gathered with a tied belt. Slowly but surely, fringes worked their way along the garments, framing the neckline and arms in a look that paired a pocketed minidress with pointed gold-toned ankle boots. As Galliano wasn’t inspired by jet-setters but by travellers that rush to their gates with travel pillow in hand, common flight accessories worked their ways into the looks. Luggage tags decorated an ensemble that combined prints in a blazer jacket and an ochre mini skirt, with white accessories including a leather top handle bag providing us with all the right pre-holiday jitters.