Reassessing the future of dressmaking in the men’s wardrobe, Maison Margiela presents its first full Artisanal menswear collection. The show signifies an unrestricted foray onto the territory of haute couture for men in a conversation with a new masculinity in motion. Opening the doors to the deft skills of creative director John Galliano and the 163 rue Saint-Maur ateliers, the presentation is staged as the house works in view. The collection is exclusively bespoke and will inform a men’s ready-to-wear line to be included in a co-ed Spring – Summer 2019 Défilé show in September.
Reflecting on the streetwear culture of the current menswear climate, John Galliano exercises his pyramidical approach to creation through an exploration of new values. It is an appreciation of the current evolution of male dress codes, and the desire to take it to unexplored places of craftsmanship for a young generation. The bias-cut – a technique native to the creative language of John Galliano – transforms traditional bespoke tailoring into a mercurial and hyper-modern take on suit-making. Executed in silks and tweeds, bias-cutting generates a harmonious exchange between fabric and body, expressed in a louche and liberating silhouette for an advancing male dress sense.
The intricacy, techniques and time inherent to haute couture are applied to traditional ideas of male dress in a transcendence of gender-specific uniforms. It is the experimental proposal of a reimagined sexuality, sensuality and individuality for a new mentality. Rooted in authenticity, garments informed by the wardrobes of formalwear and leisure pursuits undergo a process of repurposing. Original kimonos – some from the eighteenth century – are reconditioned into garments for the contemporary wardrobe. Corsetry, cape cuts in outerwear, and hand-embroidery in surface decoration nod at classic couture codes, whereas rubber and leather moulding reflect a less traditional approach to craftsmanship.
The Artisanal show is embedded in expert dressmaking and a new consideration of the tradition of haute couture. Drawing on terminology established in recent Artisanal proposals, notions of relaxed glamour, dressing in haste, appropriating the inappropriate, and dressing in reverse underpin the collection. House techniques such as anonymity of the lining, the memory of, and décortiqué, materialise throughout, honouring and honing the Artisanal identity of Maison Margiela.
‘Through the potential of Artisanal possibilities, conventional dress codes are broken down in a discovery of diverse individualities for a new age of self-expression.’ – Maison Margiela.
[Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maison Margiela]
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