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Jan 31, 2024

Why are we all talking about Galliano’s latest Maison Margiela Artisanal show?

The Maison Margiela Artisanal Collection 2024, which was presented in Paris, made an impact.

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The Maison Margiela Artisanal 2024 Collection presented in Paris last week 

It’s already stapled in fashion history as one of the most inspired collections designed by John Galliano, and the conversation about it is not going to fade. It’s something that took us off guard, although we are always ready to be struck by Galliano’s genius.

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Make-up moments backstage at the Maison Margiela Artisanal 2024 Collection 


A Legend Wrapped in Strokes of Genius and Coup de Théâtre

In the last three and a half decades, Maison Margiela made a remarkable transition from founder Martin Margiela to today’s creative director John Galliano. The brand, established as a luxury fashion house, morphed into something destabilising and unpredictable.

Maison Martin Margiela's autumn-winter 1995/96 collection

The Maison’s philosophy is based on a cerebral approach to deconstructing, reinventing, and redefining male and female silhouettes. It is both masculine and feminine, highly connected to a fusion of genres.  

By combining deconstruction and reconstruction, Martin Margiela transformed worn clothes into something completely different and new. At Maison Margiela, the motto seemed to be “Nothing is lost, everything is altered,” using second-hand clothing obtained from flea markets or thrift shops, he constructed entire collections.


An Empire Built on Oxymorons

A very private designer versus eloquent, provocative designs. An aversion for advertising and creative choices that speak for themselves. Martin Margiela always valued his anonymity and felt that clothes should be appreciated for their own merits, without any commercial intentions behind them.

His mystery certainly had an impact on the creative choices he made for his runway performances. He was famous for making provocative statements by partially or entirely hiding his models’ faces.  

Maison Martin Margiela's spring 1996 collection 

This wasn’t the only time Martin Margiela challenged the fashion industry with his provocative ideas. He invented a new approach to creating his collections and launching them to the world that went against the classic codes of the industry and played with gender neutrality and fluidity.

His collections are categorised into a line that goes from 0 to 23, each representing a different product category and style. Line 6, a contemporary line for women, was founded in 1997 and later rebranded as MM6. In 2012, the ‘Artisanal’ collection, line 1, officially received the ‘Haute Couture’ designation from the French Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

The brand does not create conventional advertising campaigns, which aligns with their core value of anonymity. Similarly, paired with their no-advertising mindset, the Maison doesn’t really have long-standing brand ambassadors. However, many celebrities, such as Rihanna, Katy Perry and Hamish Bowles, have worn Maison Margiela’s designs to prestigious fashion events like the Met Gala.  

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Rihanna in Maison Margiela at the 2018 Met Gala
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Katy Perry in Maison Margiela at the 2017 Met Gala
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Hamish Bowles in Maison Margiela at the 2019 Met Gala


From the Mystic Founder to the Exuberant Heir

When John Galliano was appointed as the house’s creative director in 2014, he added his flair for spectacle and creative genius to the Maison’s singular concept and showed he was the perfect choice.

He is one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry, and becoming the director of Maison Margiela marked a new milestone in his career. John Galliano has been celebrated for his innovative and boundary-pushing designs, which he developed during his tenure as creative director at Dior. 

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Maison Margiela's spring-summer 2024 Co-Ed Collection by John Galliano  

His appointment at Maison Margiela was met with widespread enthusiasm, as his unique vision and creativity enabled the brand to move in a new and exciting direction. His collections have received critical acclaim from fashion critics and fans alike, with the brand’s new direction making it even more thrilling.

Galliano’s success at Maison Margiela is a testament to his creativity and vision. He managed to pay homage to Martin Margiela’s previous work, while also introducing his unique vision for the house, resulting in an intriguing organic process.

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A new era began for the house, as Galliano’s arrival also led to a change in the brands’ name, with the founder’s first name being erased to create Maison Margiela.


A Neverending Source of Inspiration

It is fascinating to see how the fashion world is still inspired by Martin Margiela’s first collections, as well as Galliano’s current success and influence. 

Maison Margiela’s signature style, ‘deconstructed fashion,’ is one of the most influential in modern-day fashion. Established visionaries and smaller, up-and-coming designers constantly draw inspiration from Maison Margiela.

Martin Margiela's spring-summer 2001 top made of leather gloves 

For example, Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga, who decided to put masks on his models for the 2022 Haute Couture collection, or T LABEL’s viral gloves dress, which looks strangely similar to Margiela’s Artisanal glove top. 

It is undeniable that Maison Margiela isn’t done inspiring and innovating the fashion industry, and the change of creative directors from an anonymous genius to a provocative prodigy enabled the brand to evolve in the best and most surprising way possible.



Inès Boisdenghien
MA in Fashion Promotion, Communication & Digital Media, Milan